Kostecki: Right time to ‘learn from other people’
Saturday 11th January, 2020 - 6:00am
Jake Kostecki says that his step into the Supercars Championship with Matt Stone Racing is a chance to “learn from other people” after several years in his own family’s team.
The younger of the Kostecki brothers, who ran their eponymous team with cousin Brodie in Super2 and latterly as a Pirtek Enduro Cup wildcard, has linked with MSR to share an entry with Zane Goddard in what will be each driver’s rookie season in the top tier.
Jake Kostecki has competed with Kostecki Brothers Racing (KBR) in Super2 since 2016, after debuting in the V8 Touring Car Series as a 15-year-old, the year prior.
Having initially been approach by MSR boss Matt Stone about the idea, Kostecki and his father ultimately made the call to move to another team in the Supercars arena for the first time.
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“We thought it was the right step for me to take instead of doing another year in Super2 with our own team,” Kostecki told Speedcafe.com.
“I learned a lot from that obviously, but now it’s probably time to learn from other people as well, not just ourselves. I’m pretty excited to take that step and learn as much as I can.”
MSR and Todd Hazelwood won the Dunlop Super2 Series together in 2017, but their first season in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship was a troubled one.
Armed with a Triple Eight Race Engineering-built ZB Commodore and technical support from the Banyo team, they enjoyed significantly better performances in 2019, a point alluded to by Kostecki.
MSR will expand to two Virgin Australia Supercars Championship entries with Garry Jacobson heading across from Kelly Racing to drive the #35 entry while Kostecki and Goddard will share the car, another Triple Eight-built ZB Commodore, which KBR ran in the enduros.
“I feel like it always takes (a Supercars Championship team) around three years to be semi-competitive or even four,” suggested Kostecki.
“They’ve already done their two years and they have learnt a lot as well, and their infrastructure, they’re pushing in the right direction with the people they got and the people that they talk to, as well.
“So I feel like they’re going to be a fast team one day. It’ll be good to be a part of it and learn as much as I can.”
However, he and Brodie impressed on the streets of the Gold Coast and particularly at Sandown, where a 16th in the 500 proper arguably did not reflect their performance.
Jake Kostecki says that the year ahead will be about building on that experience.
“Obviously I’ve only done three enduros before in the main (Supercars series), but the amount of laps I did in those three enduros was a lot more than that full year in Super2, so that was more where I was heading,” he noted.
“The amount of laps I’m doing, and the experience I get, the people I’m racing, the pit stops, the different tyres… You’re doing way more laps so that’s where more I was heading in to boost my career and what I can do.
“I’m obviously not going to be up the front straight away and racing for the podium, but with the amount of laps I’ve been doing, it’s going to be gaining me a lot of experience, and that’s my main goal for 2020.”
The 2020 Supercars Championship begins with the Superloop Adelaide 500 in February, although Kostecki’s first start in the MSR SuperLite set-up will be Event 2 of the season at Albert Park on March 12-15.