Van Gisbergen overhauls Kostecki in Perth thriller

29 Apr
Chevrolet drivers go to war in enthralling battle
3 mins by James Pavey
Highlights: Race 7 2023 Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint

Shane van Gisbergen has beaten Brodie Kostecki in a thrilling late battle to win Race 7 at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint.

Van Gisbergen was last of the leaders to pit in the 42-lapper, and cleared Kostecki on the penultimate lap.

It came after a ding-dong battle between the two Chevrolet drivers, which included plenty of contact.

Such was the intensity, that Kostecki was slapped with a bad sportsmanship flag for blocking as he kept van Gisbergen at bay.

It took a robust move at Turn 6 for van Gisbergen to get the job done, with the Kiwi sailing away to career victory No. 78.

Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds completed the podium ahead of a charging Todd Hazelwood, who was an impressed fourth in his CoolDrive Ford.

Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang) was fifth ahead of Matt Payne (#19 Penrite Mustang), Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) and Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang).

Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) and Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) rounded out the top 10.

Kostecki extended his championship lead to 76 points over Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang), who raced to 11th from 15th.

Van Gisbergen is 78 points down in third, with Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) and Feeney moving to fourth and fifth.

Erebus continues to lead the teams’ championship by a reduced 79-point margin over Red Bull Ampol Racing.

Kostecki beat pole-sitter van Gisbergen to Turn 1, with Reynolds slotting into third ahead Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro), Payne and Randle.

Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) was first to stop on lap 1, with van Gisbergen keeping a watching brief on Kostecki.

Race start: Kostecki pounces on van Gisbergen

On lap 17, van Gisbergen pounced on Kostecki at Turn 7, but the lead changed hands on the next lap as Kostecki stopped.

Kostecki emerged behind Reynolds, who made the most of an undercut after his lap 17 stop.

However, Kostecki powered past five laps later, with van Gisbergen stopping from the lead on lap 27.

Van Gisbergen emerged behind Kostecki, Reynolds and Courtney, and quickly made inroads into the leading trio.

The three-time champion passed Courtney on lap 30, and cleared Reynolds two laps later.

Only Kostecki stood between van Gisbergen and a third win of the season, and the two quickly engaged in a battle after the #97 Camaro wiped away the 2.2s margin.

Heimgartner turns Waters at pit entry

Kostecki defended with vigour as he fought to keep van Gisbergen behind, and was issued a bad sportsmanship flag for blocking.

Van Gisbergen forced his way down the inside at Turn 6 on lap 41, and raced away to his third Perth win in the last four starts.

Reynolds pressed Kostecki for second as Hazelwood got by Courtney late on to take fourth.

Hazelwood was just 1.8s from a maiden Supercars victory despite starting 12th.

James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) gained the most positions in the race with 10, racing from 24th to 14th.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 DEWALT Camaro) came home 18th in his 600th Supercars race start.

Cars will return to CARCO.com.au Raceway on Sunday for Qualifying for Race 8 and Race 9 from 9:15am local time/11:15am AEST.

Tickets for this weekend’s Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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