Kostecki steals points lead in Sydney night thriller

29 Jul
Waters, van Gisbergen penalised in dramatic night race
4 mins by James Pavey

Brodie Kostecki has won a dramatic Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight race under lights, with rivals Cam Waters and Shane van Gisbergen penalised.

With victory in Race 18, the Erebus Motorsport driver snatched back the points lead he lost in Townsville — his first win since Albert Park in April, and the third of his career.

Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) emerged second after a thrilling battle ahead of Kostecki’s teammate Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro), who was elevated to third after a time penalty for van Gisbergen.

Van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) was pinged over a last-lap incident with Brown at Turn 8, with the two Camaros making nose-to-rear contact.

Earlier, Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) was penalised over an unsafe release, having been sent into the path of van Gisbergen’s teammate Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) during his second stop.

Waters and van Gisbergen were reclassified to fifth and seventh, with Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro) and Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) jumping to fourth and sixth.

Kostecki turned a seven-point deficit to Brown into a 14-point lead, with Feeney and van Gisbergen 97 and 114 points behind heading into Sunday.

Erebus, meanwhile, opened up a 197-point lead over Triple Eight, which was 91 points coming into Saturday's race.

"That's unbelievable, I can't believe it, I can't believe how fast the car was," said Kostecki, who took the lead immediately after a stunning start.

"Unreal night, great to see so many people stay out to the finish."

Andre Heimgartner (#8 R& Batteries Camaro) lost his pole advantage immediately, bogging down off the line and falling behind Kostecki, Brown and Waters through Turn 1.

Heimgartner was down to fifth by the end of lap 1 — and down to ninth by lap 13 — with a fast-starting Cameron Hill (#35 Truck Assist Camaro) jumping from eighth to fourth.

Kostecki held Brown at bay as Waters held third, with Le Brocq overhauling teammate Hill for fourth.

It set up a big battle behind, with James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro), Mostert, Heimgartner, Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy's Electrical Camaro) all squabbling.

Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), who qualified 23rd, was first to stop on lap 10, with Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro) pitting two laps later.


Kostecki weathered a Brown challenge to open up a 1.3s margin by lap 13, which blew out to four seconds by the time Brown and Waters stopped on lap 17.

Waters jumped Brown in the lane, with Le Brocq and van Gisbergen following them in. Kostecki stopped on lap 19, and emerged 1.6s ahead of the Monster Ford.

Having lost ground in the opening stint, Heimgartner was shifted to a one-stop strategy, along with Davison and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang). Davison stopped on lap 22, Reynolds on lap 24, and Heimgartner lap 25.

With stops complete by halfway, Kostecki led Waters by 2.5s, with Brown, Le Brocq, Pye, Mostert, James Courtney (#5 Snowy Rivers Caravans Mustang), Golding, van Gisbergen and Hill rounding out the top 10.

Pye, Courtney and Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) kicked off the second round of stops on lap 30, with Le Brocq stopping on lap 32.

The race quickly turned on its head on the next lap when Reynolds crashed, triggering the bp Ultimate Safety Car on lap 35.

Waters was one of several drivers to stop in anticipation of a Safety Car. However, The #6 Ford was released into the path of Feeney, with Race Control confirming a penalty on lap 40 — much to Waters’ dismay.

Kostecki led Waters, Brown, Le Brocq, Mostert, Pye, van Gisbergen, Courtney, Hill and Slade to green on lap 39. Mostert picked off Le Brocq for fourth immediately at Turn 4, with van Gisbergen motoring past Pye for sixth.

Kostecki opened up a one-second lead over Waters, who was under increased pressure from Brown. It invited Mostert and van Gisbergen to the party, with a four-way battle exploding on lap 49.

Brown made a lunge but was unable to complete a move as the quartet arrived at Turn 4. Mostert passed both, with van Gisbergen watching on behind.

Mostert emerged in second, with Waters, Brown and van Gisbergen slotting in behind. Van Gisbergen tried to get past Brown, only to clip the Turn 10 kerb and hand the spot back on a platter.

On the final lap, van Gisbergen hit Brown at the hairpin, completed the pass into Turn 9, and seemed to have secured third as Brown remonstrated over team radio.

However, van Gisbergen's joy was short-lived, with the #97 penalised as Kostecki celebrated in victory lane. Van Gisbergen did, however, take home fastest lap bonus points.

Fullwood, Mark Winterbottom (#18 DEWALT Cameron) and Pye rounded out the top 10, with Feeney 11th ahead of Golding. Heimgartner was 14th, having lost his strategy advantage due to the Safety Car.

Supercars return to the track for qualifying on Sunday at 12:35pm local time/AEST.

Related News