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How Kostecki can seal championship on Gold Coast

Supercars
18 Oct
Can Brodie Kostecki really win it at Surfers Paradise, and realistically, who poses a threat?
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  • Five drivers still mathematically in contention

  • Brodie Kostecki could clinch title on Gold Coast Sunday

  • Only Erebus and Triple Eight can win the teams' championship

Two rounds remain before the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship drivers’ trophy is awarded, and Brodie Kostecki is in the box seat to take out his first title, and the first championship of the Gen3 era.

But while the championship was ultimately won on the Gold Coast streets last year, chances are it will head to the season-ending VAILO Adelaide 500 this year.

There are five drivers still mathematically in contention, but if Erebus Motorsport star Kostecki has a strong run on Saturday at Surfers Paradise, that could become two.

With two rounds to go in 2023, Supercars.com looks at the championship picture as it stands.

Who’s in contention?

Five drivers could mathematically win the 2023 title, given there are 600 points remaining. There are four races left across the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 and VAILO Adelaide 500, each worth 150 points for the winner.

Kostecki leads Shane van Gisbergen by 131 points. Van Gisbergen, the Repco Bathurst 1000 winner, is Kostecki’s key competition.

Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

Will Brown is next in the standings, albeit 390 points behind. Erebus driver Brown is aiming for a top three finish this season before he replaces van Gisbergen at Red Bull Ampol Racing in 2024. 

Penrite Oil Sandown 500 winner Feeney was 204 points down before Bathurst, but the deficit to Kostecki blew out to 408 points due to his gear lever heartbreak.

It’s a big ask for the title for Brown and Feeney, as it is for Chaz Mostert, who is 547 points down and the lead Ford driver. 

Heading to Bathurst, there were seven other drivers in mathematical, although unlikely, contention with 900 points remaining — Andre Heimgartner, Cam Waters, Jack Le Brocq, Will Davison, Bryce Fullwood, Anton De Pasquale and Mark Winterbottom. They all fell out of contention after the Great Race.

Can Kostecki win the title on the Gold Coast?

Yes, but Kostecki will need a disaster for van Gisbergen to do so. Kostecki could win the title on Sunday, but not before, and it would be a big ask.

Kostecki needs to extend his margin over van Gisbergen by 170 points over the course of the Gold Coast weekend to be unbeatable. If Kostecki is leading by 301 points at the end of Sunday, the drivers' title is heading to Erebus for the first time.

If Kostecki wins both races at Surfers Paradise, van Gisbergen will need to finish 13th or better to have a mathematical chance heading to Adelaide.

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If the Kiwi finishes 13th in the two races and Kostecki wins, the difference would be 299 heading into Adelaide, with only 300 on offer.

van gisbergen albert park win 2023

Kostecki has it all to do, however, given van Gisbergen's form at Surfers Paradise. The New Zealander dominated both Gold Coast races last year, clinching his third drivers’ title on the Saturday in the process. Only Jamie Whincup (nine wins) and Garth Tander (eight) have more Gold Coast victories than van Gisbergen’s six.

It's do-or-die for Brown, Feeney and Mostert, who will all drop out of contention if they are 450 or more points down after the Saturday Gold Coast race.

Brown will need to reduce his deficit to Kostecki by 91 points over the weekend to remain a chance heading to Adelaide, while Feeney must wipe off 109 points.

Mostert, however, needs a major miracle and must win all four races — and have Kostecki fail to finish — to pull off an unlikely comeback title for Walkinshaw Andretti United.

That miracle would include penalties — Kostecki would likely win the title if he left the Gold Coast over 300 points ahead, but if he crashed in Adelaide and caused an incident, he could be hit with a points penalty, which would eat into his lead.

The teams' title fight

The drivers' title isn't the only title fight raging on, with Erebus and Triple Eight set to take their fierce teams' championship battle down to the wire.

Heading to Bathurst, there were five other teams in mathematical, although unlikely, contention with 1728 points remaining — Brad Jones Racing, Shell V-Power Racing Team, Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Team 18. They all fell out of contention at Mount Panorama, leaving the two winningest teams in 2023 behind.

Erebus and Triple Eight have won 10 races each this season, and have claimed 46 of the 72 podium positions on offer.

Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute final podium position

Erebus, which debuted in 2013 as a three-car Mercedes-AMG squad, has led the teams' championship since the season-opening Thrifty Newcastle 500. Remarkably, reigning champions Triple Eight haven't led either championship at any stage this year.

Erebus extended its teams' lead from 95 to 179 points in Bathurst thanks to Feeney's problems, but the battle is far from over. There are 1152 points remaining in the four races, although Erebus could, like Kostecki, wrap up the championship in the Gold Coast Sunday race.

If Erebus can somehow put another 398 points over Triple Eight by the end of the weekend, the Melbourne-based squad will secure its first teams' title.

Track action at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 will commence on Friday October 27.

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