Kostecki pips van Gisbergen in Newcastle 500 Practice 3

Brodie Kostecki. Picture: Ross Gibb

Brodie Kostecki. Picture: Ross Gibb

Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki has pipped Shane van Gisbergen to practice honours on the opening day of the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

Kostecki spent much of the third and final 45-minute practice session for the Repco Supercars Championship field on top and would reclaim the ascendancy just before the chequered flag with a 1:11.4068s in the #99 Coca-Cola Camaro.

That effort beat the 1:11.4625s set by Triple Eight Race Engineering’s van Gisbergen moments earlier, after the 2022 champion had regrouped from a reported gearbox selection issue on the lap prior in the #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro.

Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert put a Ford in the top three at just 0.0760s off the pace on a late 1:11.4828s in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang, with the top five on the opening day of Gen3 competition rounded out by PremiAir Racing Chevrolet duo, Tim Slade and James Golding.

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro) was fastest in Practice 1 and fifth-quickest in Practice 2, then back on top early in the third session on a 1:12.1413s and then a 1:12.1270s.

Kostecki reset the very fastest lap of the weekend when he clocked a 1:11.6160s in an early run, and was still more than two tenths better when Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) went to a 1:11.8478s just before the quarter-hour mark.

WAU’s Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) moved to second on a 1:11.7882s in the 21st minute, just prior to Kostecki taking ownership of the second-fastest lap of the day also, setting a 1:11.6802s.

Shortly beyond the half-hour mark, Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) took up second place with a 1:11.7682s, minutes before Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro) gave the tyre barriers a harmless nudge at Turn 8 while trying to catch a mid-corner moment.

With just over five minutes to go, new PremiAir driver Slade vaulted to the top with a 1:11.5649s in the #400 Nulon Camaro, then team-mate Golding went third on a 1:11.6898s.

Van Gisbergen reported a gearbox gremlin back to the Triple Eight bunker with a couple of minutes to go and while he aborted one lap, he went fastest on the next one.

Mostert then went second but Kostecki snipped 0.0557s from #97’s benchmark to claim Friday bragging rights at the Newcastle East Street Circuit.

Percat ended up sixth on a 1:11.7275s, from Davison, Team 18’s Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro), and Tickford Racing’s Cam Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), the latter of whom was on to improve on his final lap before he put in a slow final sector.

Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) rounded out the top 10 at 0.5067s off the pace, with Brown 12th, Heimgartner 13th, and Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) 16th on a 1:12.0274s which was only 0.6206s slower than Kostecki’s best effort.

The next session, starting tomorrow at 11:15 local time/AEDT represents the first time Gen3 cars will qualify, with a Top 10 Shootout to follow later in the day.

Results: Practice 3

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.4068  
2 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.4625 0:00.0557
3 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:11.4828 0:00.0760
4 400 Nulon Racing Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.5649 0:00.1581
5 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.6898 0:00.2830
6 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 1:11.7275 0:00.3207
7 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:11.7682 0:00.3614
8 20 Hino Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.7761 0:00.3693
9 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:11.8048 0:00.3980
10 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:11.9135 0:00.5067
11 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9225 0:00.5157
12 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9383 0:00.5315
13 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9425 0:00.5357
14 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9476 0:00.5408
15 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 1:11.9782 0:00.5714
16 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.0274 0:00.6206
17 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.0471 0:00.6403
18 18 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.0750 0:00.6682
19 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:12.0930 0:00.6862
20 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:12.1209 0:00.7141
21 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:12.2059 0:00.7991
22 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 1:12.3579 0:00.9511
23 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.3689 0:00.9621
24 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 1:12.4029 0:00.9961
25 4 SCT Motorsport Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.6940 0:01.2872

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