Randle first pole, Kostecki masterclass at The Bend

19 Aug
Randle breaks through before Kostecki masterclass
4 mins by James Pavey

Thomas Randle and Brodie Kostecki have split Sunday qualifying honours at the OTR Supersprint, with the former claiming his first career ARMOR ALL Pole Position.

Kostecki (#99 Coca-Cola Camaro) and Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang), who shared Saturday’s front row, were again the benchmarks come Sunday at The Bend Motorsport Park.

Under cloudy skies, Randle became the 71st driver in ATCC/Supercars history to take a pole position, and the third driver in 2023 — after Broc Feeney and Jack Le Brocq — to take his first pole.

  • Click here for Qualifying 21 results

  • Click here for Qualifying 22 results

The 2020 Super2 champion also became the 10th different driver to take a pole in 2023, before Kostecki powered to Race 22 pole by a staggering 0.4238s.

Randle and Kostecki will share the front row for Sunday’s first race, with Randle’s Tickford Racing teammate Cam Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) qualifying second for the finale.

"Wow, what a way to back it up," said Randle, who scored his first solo Supercars podium on Saturday.

"We've always had some good speed here, and it's a real credit to the team, all our supporters and members that stick by us. It's a really good way to repay them."

Matt Payne (#19 Penrite Mustang) also impressed, holding provisional pole in the second session before ending up fifth, just after qualifying third for Race 21.

It was another bruising outing for Kostecki’s teammate Will Brown, who after crashing out on Saturday, qualified 16th and 13th for Sunday’s two races in his repaired #9 Coca-Cola Camaro.

Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Camaro) qualified fourth and seventh, with Red Bull Ampol Racing teammate Broc Feeney (#88 Camaro) also battling to 13th and 11th.

Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) also ensured a mixed morning, qualifying sixth for Race 21 before slumping to 17th for the finale.

In the first session, Waters led a Ford top six after the first runs with a 1:50.7716s, ahead of James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang), Randle, Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), Declan Fraser (#56 TRADIE Mustang) and Mostert. Brown was first Camaro in seventh, 0.1420s off the pace.


Of the direct championship combatants, Feeney was 10th ahead of Kostecki in 11th, with van Gisbergen only 18th.

Randle returned for the second runs and fired in a 1:50.0684s, but Kostecki — who claimed pole and won on Saturday — loomed to steal the Tickford driver’s thunder.

Kostecki, however, fell 0.0526s short to hand Randle a maiden pole. Behind them, Payne vaulted to third, with van Gisbergen recovering to fourth ahead of De Pasquale and Mostert.

Feeney and Brown, meanwhile, missed out on their second runs and quailed 12th and 16th respectively. Mark Winterbottom (#18 DEWALT Camaro) and Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) rounded out the field in 24th and 25th, some 1.4s off Randle’s pace.

All 25 cars rolled out shortly afterwards for Race 22 qualifying, with Payne soaring to the top with a 1:50.3591s ahead of Fullwood, van Gisbergen and Randle.

Payne pressed on, and turned in a 1:50.0804s — just down on Randle’s 1:50.0684s from the first session — to put 0.4456s on the field. Kostecki, Waters, Mostert, Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro) and James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro), meanwhile, all opted for one run only.

Le Brocq jumped to second, albeit 0.4340s down, as the balance of the field underwent changes in the lane. Such was the confidence of Penrite Racing, that Payne stepped out of his car.

Randle laid down the gauntlet with a 1:49.9862s, before Waters jumped to provisional pole with a 1:49.9060s. However, Kostecki went fastest of all, motoring to a second pole of the weekend with a dominant 1:49.4822s.

"The first qualifying session today, I didn't quite get it right," said Kostecki, who moved his 2023 pole tally to six.

"I was really happy with that last lap there, we played it to the death. Misread the track conditions for the first one, but nailed it for the second one.

"To be on pole for four tenths is unreal."

Race 21 will commence at 12:50pm local time/1:20pm AEST, with Race 22 concluding the OTR SuperSprint at 3:50pm local time/4:20pm AEST.

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