Skaife: Kostecki making waves within Supercars industry
Friday 16th April, 2021 - 4:17pm
Five-time champion Mark Skaife is certain Brodie Kostecki’s standout drive to the Sandown podium has earnt him invaluable kudos in the Supercars paddock.
Last time out, Kostecki achieved the rare feat of nabbing a podium inside his first five starts as a Supercars Championship primary driver, soaring from seventh to second in treacherous conditions.
He’s publicly earnt plaudits for that performance, and Skaife is sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed among key players within the category.
“I was really impressed with his wet-weather drive – in fact, I think if they altered their strategy, they were a chance to win,” Skaife told Speedcafe.com.
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“Really good drive. Very impressive.
“When you do those things, the industry stands up and takes notice.
“I genuinely wish him all the best for the rest of the season because he is going to be showing real glimpses of form and real potential.”
Kostecki’s maiden main game season, at Erebus Motorsport, has also featured making an immediate impression at Mount Panorama where he soared through to the first Top 10 Shootout of the year.
All this comes at a time when Triple Eight Race Engineering is assessing all options for a 2022 successor to retiring seven-time champion Jamie Whincup.
Erebus boss Barry Ryan has reaffirmed Kostecki is under contract for at least next season and is central to the team’s future, but it’s not out of the realms of possibility that Triple Eight could swoop on an already-signed driver.
Team boss Roland Dane himself said soon after Whincup’s impending retirement was announced in February that he’d had contracted drivers contacting him.
Without specifically touching on the prospect of him becoming the next Whincup, Skaife spoke highly of Kostecki’s credentials.
“He’s got a rookie-style status but probably shouldn’t have in reality, given that he’s done so much racing. And he looks like that, when you watch him drive,” said Skaife.
On the topic of Whincup, Skaife – now a veteran television commentator – assessed the #88 driver could well yet run down in-form team-mate Shane van Gisbergen in the 2021 title race.
“I think [van Gisbergen’s] biggest threat is probably still in the garage next door in terms of just overall pace,” added Skaife, with reference to Whincup.
“You don’t win seven championships and all of a sudden not be able to offer up a title campaign that’s going to be strong.
“So I think that will still be the story of the season – but I think probably [Cameron] Waters and [Chaz] Mostert shape up as the two [other] guys that can continue to take it to Shane.”
Skaife will as usual co-front the Supercars broadcast for Round 3 of the season, the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint, this weekend.
Among those joining him on the broadcast team will be special guest and two-time champion Marcos Ambrose.
Kostecki is 10th overall leading into the action at Symmons Plains International Raceway.