Randle slapped with grid penalty for Kostecki near-miss

Kurt Kostecki (right) takes evasive action. Source: Fox Sports

Thomas Randle has been handed a three-place grid penalty after an incident with Kurt Kostecki during the first phase of Qualifying for Race 23 at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The final leg of their respective three-round 2021 wildcard campaigns almost ended in tears for both Randle and Kostecki, the latter forced to swerve onto the grass at high-speed when a none-the-wiser Randle was weaving to create tyre temperature for his own upcoming flying lap.

Kostecki collected a series of advertising boards but managed to avoid major damage, with both drivers ultimately making it through to the top 20 (otherwise known as Q2).

Randle would wind up 17th and Kostecki 20th but they will now the share the 10th row of the grid for tonight’s 32-lap race following the Castrol-backed driver’s reprimand.

“I really want to apologise to Kurt,” Randle admitted.

“I thought we were all on warm-up laps, I didn’t realise there was one car on a flyer.

“I had Scott Pye behind me with his headlights on and he was on a slowdown so just weaving our tyres and then at the last second I saw him and tried to get out of the way.

“He did a bloody good job to avoid me.

“Once I get out of the car I will be definitely apologising to Kurt because I have been in that situation before and it’s not very nice. I’m just glad, it could have been so much worse.”

Kostecki added moments later: “Obviously we went out there out of sync a little bit, because of the tyres this weekend.

“There was a bit of cloud cover coming in and we thought we’d try to steal a lap there but obviously everyone came in. It’s just really clumsy.

“I don’t think anyone does it intentionally but it’s just sometimes unavoidable.”

Jack Smith and Zane Goddard have promoted to 17th and 18th, respectively, courtesy of Randle’s penalty.

Kostecki will start 19th and Randle 20th.

Will Brown will be on pole position for the first time in his Repco Supercars Championship career when Race 23 at the Armor All Sydney SuperNight starts at 19:45 local time/AEDT.

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