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Kostecki weathers Townsville rollercoaster

11 Jul
#99 under-fuelled, but still just five seconds from win
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Brodie Kostecki was forced to deliver a remarkable drive to secure a drought-breaking podium at the NTI Townsville 500.

Kostecki scored his first podium since the Tasmania finale to keep himself within reach of new series leader — and teammate — Will Brown.

Few drivers had to work as hard on Sunday as Kostecki, who powered through the field after a strategy miscue.

The #99 Coca-Cola Camaro was under-filled by one litre during his second stop under Safety Car, and he dropped to 14th.

Kostecki was instructed to fight to the front, and he answered the call, powering to fourth before the final stops.

With 19 laps to go, he passed title rival Broc Feeney for third, and cleared Andre Heimgartner for second on lap 77.

Anton De Pasquale had nine seconds up his sleeve, and won by five as Kostecki closed in.

While a win went begging, Kostecki returned to the podium — familiar territory after his sensational start to the season, but territory that had gone missing of late.

“A much better day for myself, rolled straight out and went on provisional pole,” Kostecki said.

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“Started the race in fourth and had really good pace in the race, we were running second before the Safety Car came out.

“We muddled a few things up, but the car had good pace in the last stint.

“We’ll press on, Sydney’s up next, we’ll make sure we get it right for there and battle on.”

After 10 podiums in his first 12 starts, Kostecki went four races without a podium — all three Darwin races, and the Townsville opener.

In two of those races, Kostecki haemorrhaged points due to contact in Darwin, and transaxle issues in Townsville, to cede the lead to Brown.

Regardless, it was a far better result than Saturday, when he lost the points lead to Brown as he slumped to 19th.

“It could've been a win, we messed up a bit in pit lane,” Erebus CEO Barry Ryan added.

"We probably robbed Brodie of 10 seconds, and we lost by 5.5 or something.”

Heading to Sydney, Kostecki is just seven points back from Brown, with the top four covered by just 72 points.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Tickets are on sale now.

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