How Gold Coast opener changed the 2023 championship

28 Oct
There was plenty of movement in the drivers' and teams' standings after Race 25 on Saturday
  • 13 of 25 drivers changed their championship position in a single race

  • Cam Waters, David Reynolds, Thomas Randle make big gains

  • A bad day for Mark Winterbottom, Nulon Racing

There was plenty of movement in the drivers’ and teams’ standings after the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 opener, which was won by Cam Waters.

Tickford Racing star Waters held off a charging Shane van Gisbergen to take out Race 25 by just 0.19s after 85 laps around the Surfers streets.

The key number of the day was 104, which was the new margin between Brodie Kostecki and van Gisbergen at the top of the drivers’ standings.

However, while the top six remained unchanged in the standings, a staggering 13 of 25 drivers changed their championship position in a single race.

After an enthralling Race 25, Supercars.com highlights the biggest stories in the points standings from Saturday.

Randle and Reynolds move up

reynolds gold coast podium 2023

The biggest winners on Saturday were Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds and Tickford Racing’s Thomas Randle, who finished third and fourth in the race.

Reynolds entered Saturday 19th in the standings, and ended it in 14th. Randle was 18th after Bathurst, and 13th after the race, both drivers gaining five positions.

The two Ford drivers are in a tightly bunched cluster of drivers, with the standings set to change again on Sunday. Remarkably, the eight drivers from Tickford’s James Courtney in 12th to Nulon Racing’s James Golding in 19th are covered by just 53 points.

Waters on the move

Final lap: Waters denies van Gisbergen in epic finish

Race winner Waters ended his rotten run with a stunning victory, which came after disasters at Sandown and Bathurst.

The Tickford star left Bathurst ninth in the points, but leapfrogged Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Anton De Pasquale  (13th) and Jack Le Brocq (DNF) to rise to seventh. Heading into Sunday, Waters is just 76 points behind Brad Jones Racing driver Andre Heimgartner, who finished seventh on Saturday.

Teams’ championship moves

Erebus Motorsport and Triple Eight consolidated the top two positions, although the margin was slashed from 179 to 131 points.

Third placed Brad Jones Racing extended its margin over Shell V-Power Racing Team from 95 to 104 points, but there was movement elsewhere.

Waters’ victory helped Tickford jump Walkinshaw Andretti United into fifth, with Penrite Racing jumping Team 18 and Nulon Racing into seventh.

A tough run for home team

slade gold coast 2023 barriers

It was a day to forget for Nulon Racing, which is based in downtown Arundel. Tim Slade was undone by first-corner contact with Kostecki, and was classified 21st. Golding, meanwhile, came home 17th.

Slade dropped from 12th to 15th in the points, with Golding falling from 14th to 19th. Critically, Nulon Racing dropped from seventh to ninth in the teams’ standings behind Penrite Racing and Team 18.

Frosty’s fall continues

It has been a tough end to the year for Mark Winterbottom, who came home 12th on Saturday. Winterbottom, who suffered a late DNF in Bathurst, dropped from 15 to 18th in the standings on Saturday.

Darwin winner Winterbottom was 10th in the points after the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, and hasn’t scored a top 10 since.

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