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Reynolds snaps drought after epic Kostecki battle

Supercars
29 Oct
David Reynolds has denied championship leader Brodie Kostecki to snap a five-year drought
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  • David Reynolds beats Brodie Kostecki to snap five-year drought

  • Reynolds last claimed victory in Newcastle 2018

  • Kostecki leads Shane van Gisbergen by 131 points heading to Adelaide finale

David Reynolds has denied championship leader Brodie Kostecki to snap a five-year drought in a thrilling Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 finale.

Penrite Racing driver Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), who last won on the streets of Newcastle in November 2018, crossed the line 0.1889s ahead of Kostecki (#99 Coca-Cola Camaro) after moving ahead on strategy.

Remarkably, the Gold Coast saw its two closest competitive margins in consecutive days after Cam Waters defeated Shane van Gisbergen on Saturday.

Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) finished third ahead of Matt Payne (#19 Penrite Mustang) and van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro), who is 131 points behind Kostecki heading to the VAILO Adelaide 500 on November 23-26. Erebus Motorsport, meanwhile, holds a 140-point lead over Red Bull Ampol Racing.

The race was energised by a late bp Ultimate Safety Car after James Golding, who was hounding Waters for third, sent his #31 Nulon Camaro into a spin at the first chicane, with Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro) clattering into the stricken Chevrolet.

Last lap: Reynolds denies charging Kostecki to win Race 26

It came after the race was neutralised on the opening lap due to a crash that took James Courtney, Macauley Jones and Golding’s teammate Tim Slade out on the spot.

Reynolds denied Kostecki in a four-lap burst to the flag, despite raising eyebrows with a chicane cut on the final tour.

Kostecki enjoyed a clean start, but there was plenty of drama behind as drivers jostled for position. Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) rounded up Payne, who was hit by Mark Winterbottom (#18 DEWALT Camaro).

Around Turn 4, Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang) and Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) interlocked, with both cars firing into the outside wall. Jones (#96 Pizza Hut Camaro) was an innocent bystander and picked up damage, with all three cars out on the spot. The field was neutralised by the bp Ultimate Safety Car, with Race Control later advising no further action over the incident. 

First lap: Slade, Courtney and Jones all out in Turn 4 crash

On the restart, Kostecki held the field until pit entry, with teammate Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) one of several drivers forced to brake in the messy restart. Reynolds, meanwhile, looked racy and pushed Kostecki along.

Van Gisbergen passed Waters for eighth as Kostecki held Reynolds at bay, with Mostert trailing the #26 Penrite Ford. Behind them, Thomas Randle had a big catch at the first chicane while chasing Pye for 10th place, with the #55 Castrol Ford moving past on lap 17.

Payne was first of the leaders to stop on lap 21; by then, Kostecki was 1.3s ahead.

Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics Camaro) was first to be hit with a bad sportsmanship flag for exceeding track limits on lap 24, and was later first to be hit with a five second penalty on lap 40. Smith was classified 19th.

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Kostecki, who set his fastest lap — a 1:11.7347s — on lap 16, was brought in on lap 26, having managed the gap to Reynolds to one second. Kostecki rejoined 2.1s ahead of Payne, with the margin dropping to 0.9s. Mostert stopped on lap 28, Winterbottom on lap 29, and Waters on 30.

Van Gisbergen and Randle completed their first stops on lap 31, with the former sneaking in between Waters and Golding in a tight rejoin through the first chicane.

SVG's hair-raising rejoin between Waters and Golding

Reynolds was finally brought in on lap 32, and emerged four seconds behind Payne, who was 1.4s behind Kostecki. Reynolds, who took on more fuel, quickly got up to speed and set a 1:11.5901s on lap 34, and 1:11.5044s on lap 35.

With all drivers having completed their stops by lap 35, Kostecki led Payne by 1.8s, with Reynolds 3.1s behind his teammate. Mostert, Waters, van Gisbergen, Golding, Winterbottom, Brown and Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) rounded out the top 10.

Mostert was shown the bad sportsmanship flag on lap 35 and hit with a five-second penalty on lap 55. The two-time Bathurst winner dropped down the field before his second stop, being passed by Waters on lap 39, and van Gisbergen on lap 43.

Payne moved aside for Reynolds at Turn 11 on lap 43, with Kostecki 3.2s up the road. Payne fell into the clutches of Waters and was cleared by the #6 Monster Ford at Turn 4 on lap 50.

Reynolds and Kostecki dispute Gold Coast lead

Van Gisbergen, who straight-lined the first chicane on lap 51, caught Payne and passed the countryman after the lapped Mostert cleared Reynolds, which bunched the four cars together. Van Gisbergen and Payne immediately peeled off into the lane, just as the #97 was hit with a bad sportsmanship flag.

Kostecki was pulled in on lap 56, with Reynolds stopping for laps later. Reynolds emerged with a one-second lead, but Kostecki was on the charge.

With all stops complete, Reynolds led Kostecki by 0.9s, with Waters eight seconds down the road. Golding was fourth ahead of Payne, van Gisbergen, Brown, Pye, Mostert and Winterbottom.

Warnings continued to come in; Waters was warned on lap 60, Golding on lap 62, and Winterbottom on lap 64. All the while, Kostecki reeled in Reynolds, with the margin down to 0.5s with 18 laps remaining.

Kostecki got down the inside at Turn 4 on lap 69, but couldn’t get the job done. At the end of lap 70, Kostecki unsettled Reynolds at the final corner, before the Penrite Ford straight-lined the first chicane. It happened again on the following lap, with Kostecki redressing the situation.

Pye wiped out after Golding spins at chicane

On lap 72, Kostecki threw his #99 Camaro down the inside at Turn 4, and sealed the overtake after both cars ran down to the beach chicane line astern. However, Reynolds reclaimed the place on lap 74 after Kostecki bowled a wide at Turn 11, with the move completed into Turn 12.

Kostecki attacked into the first chicane on lap 79, but the race was neutralised as the leaders rounded Turn 4 with Pye stricken at corner exit. By that time, Brown had also been hit with a five-second penalty. The Golding incident promoted Payne, van Gisbergen and Brown, with Golding slotting into seventh.

The race restarted with four laps remaining, with Reynolds keeping Kostecki at bay. Todd Hazelwood (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) spun at Turn 11, but managed to get going. Reynolds straight-lined the first chicane on the final lap, just after Kostecki set the fastest lap of the race — a 1:11.5003s — on the final lap.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will conclude at the VAILO Adelaide 500 on November 23-26. Tickets are on sale now.

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