The drivers on track for a career-best season

18 Oct
There's plenty at stake in the final two rounds of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship
4 mins by James Pavey
  • Kostecki, Brown and Feeney set to make moves

  • Heimgartner, Fullwood set to crush previous best results

  • Drivers from 12th to 19th covered by just 81 points

  • Drivers from seventh to 11th covered by just 74 points

There’s plenty at stake in the final two rounds of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship, with several drivers set to record career-best championship finishes.

There have been plenty of twists and turns during the first season of the Gen3 era, with the new platform allowing fresh names and teams to flourish. With 600 points left to win, there is set to be more twists yet, with two key logjams forming in the midpack.

Few have flourished quite like Erebus Motorsport, which is in the box seat to win the drivers’ and teams’ championships for the first time.

Erebus’ best drivers’ championship result is fifth (David Reynolds in 2018) and fourth in the teams’ (2018). Brodie Kostecki leads by 131 points, with the team 179 points clear.

Kostecki has the most significant record when it comes to a career-best season. Before 2022, he had just three podiums to his name, no poles, and a best championship finish of seventh in 2022.

The key markers of Kostecki's 2023 success Open Graph Image

After 24 races, Kostecki looms to become champion, and has 17 podiums — six of them being victories. He has also taken a season-high seven pole positions.

Erebus teammate Will Brown, who is off to Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2024, is also set to beat his eighth placing in 2021. Brown is set to finish third or fourth, unless he can mow down Kostecki and/or Shane van Gisbergen.

Brown will have to stave off Broc Feeney, who will be his teammate next season. Sophomore driver Feeney is currently fourth, and finished sixth in his rookie season last year. Both Brown and Feeney have also recorded career-best win hauls, with four and five wins respectively.

Then, there’s Chaz Mostert, who is the lead Ford driver in fifth. The Walkinshaw Andretti United driver finished third in 2021 and 2022, and is a mathematical chance to finish second. He does, however, have to make up 436 points with 600 remaining, but is only 157 points behind third-placed Brown.

Behind them, Brad Jones Racing’s two lead drivers are in the frame to smash their previous best championship results. Andre Heimgartner is sixth, having finished 10th last year in his first BJR campaign. Bryce Fullwood, meanwhile, is 10th. Fullwood, who has a best of 14th in 2021, is only 66 points behind seventh-placed Anton De Pasquale.

The key focus that delivered Heimgartner podium Open Graph Image

An untimely Bathurst DNF pushed Heimgartner 220 points behind Mostert, but the Kiwi is still on track to match BJR’s best result of sixth (Fabian Coulthard in 2013).

Jack Le Brocq and Matt Stone Racing have been a big success story of 2023, despite the driver’s impending switch to Erebus. Le Brocq helped MSR to its first Supercars win in Darwin, and is currently eighth in the standings. The Victorian’s previous best finish was 15th in 2020 with Tickford Racing, and he is only 127 points behind Heimgartner.

There is set to be plenty more movement, with the eight drivers from 12th to 19th — Tim Slade, James Courtney, James Golding, Mark Winterbottom, Matt Payne, Scott Pye, Thomas Randle and David Reynolds — covered by just 81 points. 

Just ahead of them, the five drivers from seventh to 11th — De Pasquale, Le Brocq, Cam Waters, Fullwood and Davison — covered by just 74 points.

Nulon Racing driver Golding is currently 14th, and is well ahead of his previous benchmark of 20th (2019 with Garry Rogers Motorsport). Golding, who was a standout in Bathurst, is 204 points from the top 10. Nulon Racing also moved to seventh in the teams’ standings, three positions ahead of its 2022 position.

Tickford Racing driver Randle has enjoyed a strong end to the season, highlighted by three podiums at The Bend. The 2020 Super2 champion is currently 18th, but is just 64 points behind Slade in 12th.

The sweetest parts of Randle's Bend hat-trick Open Graph Image

The logjam could make or break some drivers’ strong championship records, including that of Team 18 veteran Winterbottom, who suffered an unfortunate DNF in Bathurst.

Winterbottom is currently 15th, which would be his worst championship result since he finished 29th in his final season with Larkham Motorsport in 2005. Winterbottom finished in the top three seven times with Tickford Racing, which also ran under the Ford Performance Racing and Prodrive Racing Australia banners. The 2015 champion finished 12th in his final season with the Ford team, and 13th in his first Team 18 season in 2019. In the years since, ‘Frosty’ has finished 10th, 10th and ninth.

Another veteran in Will Davison is currently 11th, which would be his lowest full season finish since placing 15th in 2018. The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver is 148 points ahead of Slade, and is just 74 points behind teammate De Pasquale.

Penrite Racing driver Reynolds, who was third after Newcastle, is currently 19th. Team 18-bound Reynolds finished eighth last year, and missed races en route to 18th in 2021.

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