Kostecki wins chaotic Albert Park sprint

31 Mar 2023
Erebus returns to winner's circle in shortened race
3 mins by James Pavey

Brodie Kostecki has scored his maiden Supercars victory in a dramatic shortened Race 4 at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint.

Coca-Cola Chevrolet driver Kostecki, in his 75th career start, led James Courtney (#5 Snowy Rivers Caravans Mustang) and Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) across the line behind the Safety Car.

The Safety Car was deployed after a crash for Jack Le Brocq at Turn 7, with the race already time certain due to a delay.

The race, which was scheduled for 15 laps, ran for just eight laps after it was delayed due to a crash-strewn Formula 3 qualifying session.

Courtney was later penalised over the lap 1 incident that saw David Reynolds beached in the gravel trap.

Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) was reclassified in third ahead of Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang), whose championship lead was slashed further with Kostecki victorious.

Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) crossed the line seventh behind Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), having taken the lead from Gisbergen through Turn 1.

Like Thursday, the track was declared wet prior to the start, cancelling out the multi-compound requirement.

However, the lap 2 pit stop window remained, which later affected several drivers’ performances after lap 1 stops.

Notably, Mark Winterbottom (#18 DEWALT Camaro) and Macauley Jones (#96 Pizza Hut Camaro) — who came home 11th and 14th — were forced to pit for a second time.

The race got underway with the drop of an Australian flag, and Brown — the only driver on the first two rows to start on Hards — jumped van Gisbergen.

Van Gisbergen was also attacked by Kostecki, but the race was immediately neutralised after David Reynolds beached his #26 Penrite Ford in the Turn 1 gravel trap.

Replays showed both Cam Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) and Winterbottom were delayed by the incident. The matter was investigated after the race.

Nick Percat was also forced to stop his #2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang in pit lane with fire from the left-front corner.


Percat was able to get out unharmed, but was consigned to his second DNF in four starts this season.

The race restarted on lap 4, and van Gisbergen stalked Brown as the field arrived at Turn 3.

Both Red Bull Ampol Camaros were escorted wide by the Coca-Cola Camaros, and Kostecki emerged in the lead.

Courtney and Mostert also cleared van Gisbergen and Feeney, with Brown stopping at the end of the lap.

Mostert stopped a lap later, and took two new Super Softs, with De Pasquale and Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) also stopping.

The Safety Car was called when Le Brocq crashed his #34 Truck Assist Camaro at Turn 7, with the rest of the field pitting on lap 7.

There was just one more lap, with Kostecki leading the field across the line behind the Safety Car.

Courtney scored his first podium of the season ahead of Race 3 winner van Gisbergen, with Feeney, Mostert, De Pasquale, Brown, Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Camaro), Randle and James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) rounding out the top 10.

Winterbottom finished 11th ahead of Declan Fraser (#56 TRADIE Mustang), Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) and Jones.

Waters crossed the line 21st, with Reynolds 23rd and a lap down.

Scott Pye (#20 Resimax Camaro) set the fastest lap, but by virtue of finishing outside the top 15, did not receive bonus points.

Mostert will carry a reduced 16-point lead over Kostecki into Saturday, with Brown and van Gisbergen moving to third and fourth.

Waters drops from third to fifth, and is 98 points behind.

Erebus Motorsport, meanwhile, maintained its teams' championship lead.

Cars will return on Saturday for back-to-back ARMOR ALL Qualifying sessions at 9:05am local time.

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