Kostecki in Tasmania pole sweep as Fords clash
Sunday 21st May, 2023 - 10:41am
Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki has taken both pole positions for today’s Repco Supercars Championship races at Symmons Plains.
While the Chevrolet Camaro drivers continued to dominate, the Ford Mustang teams were each other’s worst enemy at times, given Cameron Waters clashed with a Dick Johnson Racing entry in both 15-minute sessions.
Kostecki headed up an all-Chevrolet top six in Qualifying for Race 11, before he and Will Brown combined for a front row lockout after topping Qualifying for Race 12 in the Coca-Cola Camaros.
Tickford Racing’s Waters was best of the Mustang drivers in the latter session in third, despite late contact with Will Davison, but was the only one of them in the top seven.
Shane van Gisbergen missed the top 10 in the first session of the morning and qualified ninth in the second hit-out.
CLICK HERE for reaction from Cameron Waters, Dick Johnson Racing
Qualifying for Race 11
Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang) was quickest after the first flyers in Qualifying for Race 11 on a 0:52.6923s, before Kostecki (#99 Camaro) moved the marker to a 0:51.3038s, and then Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) to a 0:51.2172s at the end of his first run.
Van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) was quick to start a second run and improved to seventh on a 0:51.4035s before he ran off at Turn 6 after pinching a brake.
Randle then jumped back to the top with a 0:51.1003s and a 0:51.0883s on consecutive laps, despite not even having a tow up the ‘back straight’.
He thus sat on provisional pole ahead of the final runs, from team-mate Waters, Kostecki, Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro), and Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro), with van Gisbergen eighth and Brown (#9 Camaro) 20th.
When the entire 25-car field rolled out for the final runs, the back straight looked like something out of a Moto3 session, with most circulating at low speed in a bid to optimise track position.
With less than a minute to go, Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) went top on a 0:51.0442s, then Brown on a 0:50.8963s, and finally Kostecki on a 0:50.8335s.
Feeney split the Erebus duo with a 0:50.8364s while Ford’s best driver from the preceding day, Waters, was on a hot lap, only to make contact with another Mustang.
He had found a slipstream off Anton De Pasquale and was just about on the rear bar of the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang when the Dick Johnson Racing pilot had to catch a moment at Turn 6.
Waters was left with nowhere to go and nudged De Pasquale before breaking the beam in a time of 0:51.0744s, an improvement on his existing lap time but not the eighth position he held at that point.
In the end, he was shuffled back to 10th, behind Kostecki, Feeney, Brown, Le Brocq, Cameron Hill (#35 Truck Assist Camaro), James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro), Davison, Randle, and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang).
Van Gisbergen ended up 11th at 0.2557s off the pace, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) 13th, and De Pasquale 19th.
Full Race 11 Qualifying results here.
Qualifying for Race 12
Andre Heimgartner kicked things off in Qualifying for Race 12 with a 0:51.0667s in the #8 R&J Batteries Camaro, which remained the fastest lap once most had completed their first runs.
Randle again vaulted into provisional pole position with a 0:50.8426s on his second run, less than a hundredth of a second slower than Kostecki’s pole time from minutes earlier.
The time came despite being out on his own and hence without a slipstream, which was more significant than in the preceding session given the breeze had swung from a tailwind up the back straight to a headwind.
Randle hopped out of the #55 Mustang as the other 24 drivers went out for their final runs, with Walkinshaw Andretti United duo Mostert and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) briefly jumping up to the pointy end of the field as they ran together.
Brown then took over top spot with a 0:50.6401s but had Kostecki in his tow, and the championship leader clocked a 0:50.6218s.
Waters was third on a 0:50.6537s when the chequered flag came out, after which he went fastest to the second sector as he sat behind the #17 Mustang of Davison.
Again, though, he would be forced to make a pass at Turn 6 if he wanted to go on with the lap, but made side-to-side contact with the DJR entry in doing so.
Waters went on to clock a 0:50.6993s, still better than 21 other drivers’ respective qualifying times, but a sign of what might have been.
He will share the second row with Le Brocq, while Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) claimed fifth, ahead of Feeney, Hill, Randle, van Gisbergen, and Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro), the latter of whom ended up in the weeds inside of Turn 2 at the end of the session.
Mostert ended up 11th, De Pasquale 17th, and Davison 24th.
Race 11 of the season at the Ned Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint, to be run over 42 laps, starts at 13:05 local time/AEST.
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