Macauley Jones weighs in on SVG-Kostecki clash

This pass was deemed legal because Shane van Gisbergen had ‘significant overlap’ when it occurred

Macauley Jones says he was “surprised” Brodie Kostecki was issued a bad sportsmanship flag during his battle with Shane van Gisbergen at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint.

They repeatedly made contact during their duel for victory in Race 7 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Wanneroo Raceway, in which van Gisbergen ultimately prevailed.

Erebus Motorsport sought an investigation into the race-winning pass, which resulted in no further action, and then a protest over the incident, which was dismissed.

The pass itself was controversial, but so was the issuing of a bad sportsmanship flag to Kostecki just prior, with both drivers involved in the stoush expressing ‘confusion’ over driving standards in the immediate aftermath of the race.

“They’re racing bloody hard at the front,” said Macauley Jones on the Brad Jones Racing Run Down podcast.

“I was a bit surprised with the black and white flag for Brodie. You know, it was sort of being given to him for blocking, but there were three or four laps to go in the race.

“You’re allowed to block as long as you don’t move over in the braking zones, which I didn’t think he was really doing.

“He was blocking bloody hard… I don’t know, I sort of thought it was unfair and then I thought it was pretty play-on with them, what they were doing.

“It was pretty epic to watch actually.”

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan and Kostecki himself both declared following the protest hearing that the decision established a new precedent for Supercars’ rules of engagement.

However, Driving Standards Advisor Craig Baird pointed out that van Gisbergen’s pass was in fact clean, in so much that he had “sufficient overlap” by the time they made contact at ‘Kolb Corner’ (Turn 6).

With respect to the bad sportsmanship flag, Baird said that was issued because it had been established that Kostecki had left insufficient racing room on a handful of occasions, and stressed that it was merely a warning to the Erebus driver.

Blocking is not illegal in and of itself, and the driving standards on that matter are set out in Article 3.6 of Schedule B2 of the Supercars Operations Manual, which states:

“More than one (1) change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any Driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one (1) Car width between his own Car and the edge of the Race Track on the approach to the corner.”

Despite his surprise at the bad sportsmanship flag, Jones broadly endorsed Baird’s performance as DSA.

“We’re not Formula 1,” he noted.

“NASCAR, you watch some of that stuff and some of it’s definitely too far; they’re just sending out someone into the fence on the last corner and it’s like, ‘well, I wanted to win’, but then the other guy doesn’t finish because you’ve fenced him.

“But I think there’s a balance of that. I think we actually have a reasonable balance of that in Supercars.

“Craig Baird does a good job and he is very fair, and as long as it doesn’t get to that NASCAR level where it’s like payback…”

Macauley Jones (left) and BJR Run Down host/team General Manager Chris Westwood (right)

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