Kostecki Race 15 incident explained by stewards
Monday 19th June, 2023 - 10:16am
The circumstances of the incident which caused damage to Supercars Championship leader Brodie Kostecki’s Erebus Motorsport Camaro in Race 15 in Darwin has been explained by stewards.
Kostecki was forced to limp the #99 Coca-Cola Camaro back to pit lane on Lap 1 of the Hidden Valley finale after contact with the Dick Johnson Racing Mustang of Anton De Pasquale at the Turn 6 hairpin.
The matter was described in the stewards report as: “an Incident on Lap 1 at turn 6 when Car 11, Anton de Pasquale, slowed unexpectedly at the entry to the turn resulting in unavoidable contact between Car [99, Brodie Kostecki], and Car 11 and a series of concertina collisions behind.
“The evidence was incapable of establishing that any Driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the Incident.”
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Speaking on television post-race, Kostecki recounted, “I got a pretty decent start and was just sort of following Shane [van Gisbergen] through.
“Shane chose inside the hairpin and there was two-car-length gap in front of me on the outside so I tried to go around the outside of the hairpin to be on the inside the next corner.
“Then the Shell car – I’m not sure if Anton missed a gear or just had a front locked – but they’ve just sort of parked it at the hairpin.
“Just wheel-to-wheel contact and just ripped the [inaudible] on the steering arm open, so it unfortunately put us out.”
After repairs in the Erebus garage, Car #99 was dispatched again, three laps down.
Kostecki would go on to finish last in the 26-car field four laps down, but that was another 18 points in the bank rather than zero for a DNF.
“I was trying to get it in without getting completely taken out,” he added.
“Obviously, when you have one wheel bouncing around … I was looking in my mirrors and people were coming at me from sort of every angle, so I just wanted to make sure I make it back to the pits and just make sure that we finished the race and don’t get a DNF.
“Not an awesome weekend for us – it’s probably been our worst weekend this year – but we’ll get back together and see how we can move forward to Townsville.”
In other judicial matters from Race 15, Brad Jones Racing’s Bryce Fullwood was cleared over a pass on Tim Slade at the final corner of the track when he made contact with the #23 PremiAir Racing entry.
“Car 14 [Fullwood] was attempting an overtake of Car 23 on the inside, contact occurred at and following the apex and Car 23 was pushed wide and Car 14 gained a position on Car 23,” explained stewards.
“A review of broadcast footage showed that Car 14 had significant overlap on Car 23 at the apex and Car 23, apparently not aware that Car 14 was there, did not leave room for Car 14 on the inside as a result of which Car 14 had to use the inside kerb and contact occurred thereafter because Car 14 was unsettled by the kerb.”
During the race, Will Brown, Declan Fraser, Matt Payne, and Zane Goddard were all issued time penalties for driving standards breaches.
The former’s was a particularly significant sanction given it relegated the #9 Erebus entry from fourth at the chequered flag to sixth in the final classification.
Brown was pinged five seconds for Careless Driving when he made “avoidable contact” and passed Mark Winterbottom at Turn 1 just after the Team 18 driver had exited the pits from his compulsory stop.
Nevertheless, with team-mate Kostecki’s 26th, Brown is a reduced, 59-point deficit from the championship lead, with Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Broc Feeney third at 32 points further back after his Race 15 podium.