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Kostecki 'can't sit back' in closest title fight since 2018

Supercars
25 Oct
'I don't think I can be a bit reserved. My closest rivals have been really fast as well'
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  • Brodie Kostecki thinks he can't be "reserved" in final rounds

  • Kostecki leads Shane van Gisbergen by 131 points with 600 remaining

  • Closest title fight at Gold Coast since van Gisbergen led Scott McLaughlin in 2018

In what is shaping up to be an unforgettable end to the season, Supercars has its closest drivers’ title fight heading to Surfers Paradise in five years — and Brodie Kostecki knows he "can’t sit back too far".

Over 10 action-packed rounds, several twists and turns have kept the fight alive, with Shane van Gisbergen taking a big step towards a fourth title with victory in the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The title fight is the closest it has been heading to the Gold Coast since 2018, with 131 points between the top two of Kostecki and van Gisbergen.

Five years ago, it was van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin who battled for the championship, with the crown going the way of the latter.

Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

Will Brown, Broc Feeney and Chaz Mostert are also in mathematical contention, and slip-ups by the front two will bring the young drivers back into the discussion.

Given van Gisbergen’s form at Surfers Paradise and Adelaide — where he has six and five wins respectively — Kostecki knows he can’t afford to rest on his laurels.

When asked if the title is his to lose, Kostecki said: "Most definitely... I have the points lead at the moment."

He continued: “There’s still a lot of racing left, and a lot of trophies to be won… it’s been really close, and for the first time in a few years.

“Hopefully it doesn’t go down to the wire, but it’s been a really cool year for the sport.

“I don't think I can be a bit reserved. My closest rivals have been really fast as well, so you really can’t sit back too far.

“I’m gonna focus on what I’ve been doing so far and that’s trying to win races, and it’s been working so far.”

kostecki gisbergen albert park1

The fight between Erebus and Triple Eight has raged on all season, with the former holding a 179-point lead, having led since the season-opener in Newcastle.

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Supercars Hall of Famer Craig Lowndes echoed Kostecki’s comments, saying he expects the title combatants to put everything on the line at Surfers Paradise.

It comes as Supercars, in conjunction with Motorsport Australia, has removed the tyre bundles from the famous beach chicane, encouraging drivers to go even faster.

"I think Brodie and Shane are going to push hard this weekend,” Lowndes told Supercars.com.

"To be fast at the Gold Coast, you need to be aggressive. You need to attack the kerbs, attack the chicanes, and be brave into the blind corners.

"It will be interesting to see how Erebus and Triple Eight play it, given both teams have two drivers at the top, and two just behind.

Best of Gold Coast: Biggest chicane crashes

"I expect Triple Eight to put a lot of emphasis on Shane, given he’s in front of Broc. 

"I believe Erebus will do the same with Brodie, and given Will is moving to Triple Eight next year, I’m sure Erebus will be keen to have the #1 in their camp in 2024.”

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship resumes at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 on October 27-29. Tickets to Queensland’s largest annual sporting event can be purchased via Supercars.com and Ticketek.

Live coverage of the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 can be found on Seven and Foxtel, with live streaming available via 7plus and Kayo.

Along with the event’s two 250-kilometre races to be held across Saturday and Sunday, numerous support categories and on-track challenges will also take to the circuit across all three days.

Margin between top two heading to Gold Coast (300-point system)

  • 19 points: Shane van Gisbergen led Scott McLaughlin (2018)

  • 33 points: Jamie Whincup led Mark Winterbottom (2008)

  • 91 points: Fabian Coulthard led Jamie Whincup (2017)

  • 93 points: Jamie Whincup led Will Davison (2009)

  • 100 points: Jamie Whincup led Craig Lowndes (2011)

  • 114 points: Jamie Whincup led Craig Lowndes (2013)

  • 125 points: James Courtney led Jamie Whincup (2010)

  • 131 points: Brodie Kostecki leads Shane van Gisbergen (2023)

  • 139 points: Shane van Gisbergen led Jamie Whincup (2016)

  • 161 points: Jamie Whincup led Craig Lowndes (2013)

  • 297 points: Jamie Whincup led Mark Winterbottom (2014)

  • 399 points: Mark Winterbottom led Craig Lowndes (2015)

  • 567 points: Shane van Gisbergen led Cam Waters (2022)

  • 622 points: Scott McLaughlin led Shane van Gisbergen (2019)

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