Supercars mid-season report card: Matt Stone Racing

Matt Stone Racing is in its fourth year of Supercars Championship competition

With the Repco Supercars Championship on a coronavirus-induced halt at the season’s midway mark, takes a look at the 2021 performance of Matt Stone Racing to date.

Teams’ championship: 9th

Drivers’ championship: Jake Kostecki 19th, Zane Goddard 20th

Qualifying head-to-head: Goddard 12, Kostecki 7

Race head-to-head: Kostecki 10, Goddard 9

Matt Stone Racing’s young pair Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard have been solid in what mustn’t be forgotten is the first full Supercars campaign for both.

Last year the young pair split the COVID-19 impacted season in half, sharing the team’s #34 Holden ZB Commodore while Garry Jacobson drove the #35 sister entry.

Jacobson’s departure opened the door for the 21-year-olds to go full-time, a move which has already bore fruit.

Despite being bogged down the back of pit lane, Goddard qualified a career-best fourth at Symmons Plains before going on to claim seventh in Race 8, finishing just behind Triple Eight Race Engineering duo Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.

The Gold Coaster was a standout in the northern swing too, making Top 10 Shootout appearances at Darwin and Townsville. He was on for a particularly fast lap at the latter, but missed the brake pedal at the final corner, spun out, and hit the tyre wall.

Goddard though has just three top 15 finishes to his name, whereas on the other side of the garage, Kostecki has had seven finishes inside the top 15.

Overall, there’s been very little to separate the pair thus far, so much so that they have equal points at the midway mark. In the head-to-head stakes, Kostecki has the edge with a 10-9 split between himself and his team-mate.

However, Goddard has had the measure of Kostecki in qualifying with a 12-7 split, though the race results show Kostecki has maybe been the better racer.

Kostecki’s best finish to date remains his fifth-place finish in Darwin, which might have been even better if not for stopping long in his pit bay in the sole compulsory pit stop.

It must be noted Kostecki has had a bit of instability in the engineering ranks with several personnel changes.

Tim Newton left to Team Sydney and since then Kostecki has had Triple Eight’s Super2 Series engineer Chris Stuckey and former Team 18 engineer Matt Saunders on his car.

Matt Stone Racing’s drivers have shown positive signs in 2021 that on occasion they can be top 10 contenders.

Symmons Plains, Darwin, and Townsville have been highlighted so far this season and shows what’s possible when it all comes together.

Expect to see more top 10 finishes before the season comes to a close.

Team mid-season grade: 6/10

Driver mid-season grades: Kostecki 6.5/10 , Goddard 6.5/10

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