Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki did all that was required in last night’s Supercars Eseries, claiming his fifth podium on his way to clinch the All Stars crown at Watkins Glen.
Meanwhile, Boost Mobile teammate Jarrad Filsell took fourth in the Pro Series championship after a terror run at the Hungaroring. It was also a similar theme for junior driver Jobe Stewart, plus wildcard entries Will Brown and Jaylyn Robotham.
The Pro Series headed to Europe for a hectic hustle around the Hungaroring. Jarrad got off to a great start from P8 and held position as the field filed down towards turn 1. But then Emily Jones tried to go for an overtake down the inside of the #99 Commodore and misjudged the corner, colliding with Jarrad.
The crash ultimately put Jarrad out of the race. The South Australian entered the pit lane for a fast repair though a glitch in the game meant he was unable to fix his car or re-enter the race. Race control did though deem Jarrad a finisher which saw him end the night in P23, claiming minimal points.
Jobe on the other hand, started from P16 and after losing two spots early on was able to battle his way back up the order by lap 2.
Always one to try to find his way through the chaos, Jobe stayed out of trouble and delivered fast, clean laps to move up to P14 by lap 5. The Erebus Academy racer took his compulsory pit stop on lap 6, but it wasn’t the last time he entered the lane. Jobe was served a drive-through penalty after cutting the curb at the chicane on lap 7.
With only 5 laps left, Jobe fought extremely hard though only managed P21 at the checkered flag. The result sees Jobe finish the championship in P20, while Jarrad fell to fourth overall after his mishap, unlucky with a possible top two in the championship getting away.
Jarrad finished the night, saying: “This year’s Eseries was great. I had some good results, I would have liked to have ended the season on a high but that’s racing unfortunately. I was pleased to get a win along the way and a few podiums, it was good to see the Boost car up the front and on TV. For me, Bathurst was definitely the standout, everyone wants to go out and win that one so I was glad to get that win with Brodie. I think something I could have worked on would have been my qualifying consistency. When the pressure was really on, I felt like I was really good but in some aspects, we lacked a little bit. Some of the times where I really needed to get up the front and consolidate, I didn’t do that as well as I could have. I think tonight if I had qualified a little bit higher up, I probably could have avoided the mess.”
Jobe also said: “I think tonight’s race was pretty disappointing for Jarrad and I. I got off to an alright start, lost a couple of positions but then I got a drive thru for cutting the curb which I didn’t know about so that put me all the way at the back so that was pretty disappointing. It’s been a tough series but I got a few good results, some not so good but overall it’s been fun. I think a standout moment was definitely Phillip Island, coming 7th was really great. I think maybe I could have been a bit more aggressive from round one, I got knocked around a bit those first few rounds. My mentality changed in the last couple of rounds and I think I could have fought my way through a bit more.”
The All Stars headed to Watkins Glen for the final round of the All Stars championship with leader Brodie joined by Will and Jay on the 31-car grid. Starting the race on the front row, Brodie was quick off the start and headed into the opening complex side by side with pole position holder Anton De Pasquale before slotting in close behind him, looking to utilise the slip stream.
Meanwhile, Jay and Will, who lined up from P13 and P14, were both involved in an opening lap incident. Will got the better start of the pair, though was forced to avoid Matt Mclean who stalled in front, pulling right and clipping Jay’s Holden. The #999 was subsequently sent into the fence. Will unfortunately didn’t make it much further, with a tap from Scott Pye behind also sending him off the road before the opening corner. Both drivers were forced to pit for repairs before rejoining now a lap behind.
Brodie hung onto the back of De Pasquale and on lap 9 took the lead at turn 1, before taking his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap 10. Unfortunately though, De Pasquale, who had pitted the lap earlier, was successful in an undercut, and Brodie sat third when the field was cleansed.
The mandatory safety car was deployed on lap 12 and was an opportunity for Jay and Will to be waved through and rejoin the lead lap. At the restart, Brodie was tucked in behind the two leaders, though brushed the wall and encouraged a challenge from Justin Ruggier behind.
At the same time, Jay and Will were pushing out some clean laps, but were unfortunately too impacted by the opening lap incident to make significant gains; the drivers crossing the line in P23 and P24 respectively. It was a nail-biting finish for Brodie though, who managed to hold off Ruggier and Richie Stanaway and finish third, scoring his fifth podium of the season on his way to being crowned the All Stars champion.
After the race, Brodie said: “The race was pretty uneventful for me as the racing was pretty clean up the front of the field. On the restart, I unfortunately hit the wall which sort of hindered our run to the finish but we still managed to finish P3 which was enough to take out the Championship. I race the guys that I had behind me for the second half regularly and I know they’re always clean drivers. It’s also really hard to pass at Watkins Glen so I wasn’t too concerned in those final laps. I just had to make no mistakes and deal with my damage on the way home. It’s a relief to take home the Championship, not only because I won but it also means that it’s the end of the Eseries which means we’re going back racing soon. The Eseries was definitely a bit of fun, it helped fill in the gaps while we can’t race in the real world but I think everyone is excited to go back to real racing again.”
Will added: “The start of the race was definitely disappointing. I broke into turn one trying to be conservative just wanting to complete the race but I got taken out straight away. It was pretty disappointing, I was actually really excited to get back into the Eseries and have a crack but as usual everyone’s ambitions are a little bit higher and there’s a lot of crashing but it was still a lot of fun. We were doing pretty well in practice, we were sitting about 6th out of everyone practicing but then I got crashed into in qualifying on 2 out of my 3 runs. I think we could have easily been in the top 10 and racing up the front a bit more. Overall I’m pretty happy with how I went, especially since the other guys have done 6 more weeks of this than I have, so pretty happy with my driving but not so happy with the result.”
Lastly, Jay said: “I got sent off sideways and cleaned up right at the start of the race which meant I had to put on lap one with damage. I was then on those tyres for the whole race so we didn’t really have the race pace and it was sort of hard to move forward but it was still good fun and it was great to get out there with everyone. It was great to be able to get the wildcard and run the Rare Spares livery in the virtual world. Even though the results weren’t great, it was still lots of fun and it’s great to get back racing again, even if it is virtually. I’m just keen to get back into the real thing.”
The real-life Supercars will resume at the end of next month, with four consecutive events taking place at Sydney Motorsport Park, before the Bathurst 1000 concludes the season in December.