Supercars Championship Results, 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.
- Click here for Race 4 results
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 Camaro 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.
At the same time, problems with the start lights meant that the Australian flag had to be used for the start of the race.
When the flag finally flew, it was Will Brown who jumped off the outside of the front row to take the lead from polesitter Shane van Gisbergen.
Kostecki also had him right in front of van Gisbergen, but Kiwi was able to retake him to second place midway through his first lap.
At this point the safety car was called and David Reynolds went down in Turn 1 after a dispute with Kam Waters and Mark Winterbottom.
Nick Parcatt’s dismal start to the year continued as the Mustang’s V8 engine caught fire as the race was incapacitated. The car was badly scorched, but he returned to the pit where the flames were extinguished.
The restart on lap 4 resulted in a hard race at the front, with van He Gisbergen taking the lead and going wide at Turn 5, dropping him back to fifth.
Kostecki came out of madness up front and James Courtney slid inside his Brown and he took second place.
Attention then turned to the mandatory stop. The wet declaration meant that if he started on super soft tyres, he would only need to put on two new tires.
The field pitted from lap 5, with Kostecki, Courtney and Van Gisbergen pitting last when the second safety car was called on lap 7. The culprit this time was Jacques Le Brock, who swiped the wall from the side on his way through the high-speed Turn 8 complex.
Kostecki, Courtney and van Gisbergen managed to lead the field and regain the top three places. The race ended under the safety car, giving Kostecki his first Supercar win.
Feeney finished fourth ahead of Chaz Mostert and Anton de Pasquale, but Brown fell back to seventh during the stops after a hard start and needing four tires.
Bryce Fulwood finished eighth ahead of Thomas Randle and James Golding.
Only 11 points behind Kostecki, Mosert continues to lead the series. The Melbourne Supersprint will continue with two consecutive qualifying sessions starting at 9am.
5am and 3rd race at 5am: