Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki and Jarrad Filsell have stamped their authority on the Supercars Eseries, claiming two podiums at Long Beach and Pocono last night.
Teammate and Erebus Academy racer Jobe Stewart also had a strong showing, holding onto 13th after a late-race crash almost took him out of contention.
The Boost Mobile Commodore took the front row in the night’s opening race and looked good from the start. Pro-gamer “Fuelcell” held onto P2 as the pack moved into single file and could not be caught, even after lightly clipping the wall on lap two.
Jobe drove well from the start to avoid some opening lap carnage and immediately moved up four spots from where he started to 11th. The Academy racer continued to make his way through the pack and made his way to ninth before taking his compulsory stop at the end of lap five.
Jarrad took his stop one lap later and closed the gap to leader Dayne Warren once the field was cleansed. Jarrad hung onto P2 all the way to the checkered flag and claimed his first podium of the season, and 13th career-podium in the Supercars Eseries.
It wasn’t as straight-forward for Jobe with the penultimate lap bringing the most action. A battle for a spot inside the top ten saw Brady Meyes and Ethan Warren come unstuck and there wasn’t much Jobe could have done as Meyers bounced off the wall and into Jobe’s Holden. Now stopped the wrong way, Jobe spun his #9 Holden back around and still managed to take P13 at the finish line one lap later.
Jarrad was thrilled to claim his first podium of the series, saying: “It was great to start on the front row this week, you can dictate more of the race than you can in the back. If you weren’t on the front row or in the top five, you’re kind of in the bin at Long Beach. As soon as you try to pass once, if you don’t make it stick, your race is pretty much over so it was a relief to start on the front row and at least try for the race win. There was a tiny bit of damage from the lap two wall hit, it was mainly just superficial, cosmetic damage. It hurt a little bit of straight line speed but other than that we were really lucky to get away with it. It impacted the race to where I couldn’t get close enough to Dane to have a crack, basically the time that I lost from it was the gap at the end of the race so if I didn’t have that, I could have had a crack at the win but it’s all good. It’s great to be back on the podium, last year was a bit of a drought so hopefully we can keep this run going forward and it will help the championship as well.”
Jobe added: “It’s definitely a hard track to pass. The opening lap is really the only chance you have to gain positions because it’s so tight and then you pretty much just sit where you are for the rest of the race unless there’s a crash. There was a bit of carnage on the first lap but I managed to get through it. I had a few scrapes from a couple of people but I moved up four spots by the end of that first lap so I was pretty happy. On lap 16, a few of the guys in front of me had been battling for a few laps through the fountain sections, one of the guys on the outside hit the wall and bounced back onto me and I didn’t really have anywhere to go. We still came back to 13th by the end of the race, passed a few people in the last lap and I moved up from where I qualified so I was happy with that.”
This week the All Stars headed to Pocono for 23 laps of “the tricky triangle”, where Brodie secured back-to-back pole positions in just as many weeks after qualifying two-tenths quicker than the next best.
At lights out, Brodie held on to the lead until lap three before switching places with Stanaway as the pair tussled for the top spot. Brodie had a great opening stint, and moved back into the lead before he took his compulsory stop at the end of lap 10.
With drivers needing to take their compulsory pit stop between laps one and 10, the #99 driver waited as long as absolutely necessary to ensure he had the freshest tyres for the restart.
The mandatory safety car was deployed on lap 12 to bunch the field back up for a thrilling sprint to the finish, Brodie now P5. It became a six-car battle for the lead right until the very end with cars three-wide as they made their way around the final turns. Brodie struggled to get clear air and made a late-move on the last lap to take the lead. In what was a photo-finish, Brodie was unfortunately pipped at the line by Richie Stanaway, crossing just 0.01-seconds ahead of the Boost Mobile Commodore.
After the action, Brodie said: “I always go into every race with the same expectations, I always want to win. It was a bit unfortunate with about four or five laps to go, I got shuffled out of the lead by three or four cars so I had to make up quite a bit of ground on the last two laps but was able to put myself in a spot to contend for the win. Supercars did a good job of making the race more understable this time around and it showed for the finish, which was pretty cool to see basically 10 cars going for the win. It was a really close race with Richie to the finish line, it was great to see two Boost cars 1&2 across the line. Richie and I sim race quite a lot so we were sort of working with each other throughout the race and it all worked out because we were both racing for the win so that was pretty cool.”
The team are now looking ahead to round three of the Supercars Eseries next Wednesday, which will include races at Daytona and Road America.
Racing will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506, Kayo, 7Plus and Sky NZ, plus online on the team’s Facebook page.