Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki has claimed his maiden victory in the Supercars Eseries, while pro gamer Jarrad Filsell made back-to-back podiums with third.
Teammate Jobe Stewart also continued to show promise, holding onto tenth position before a final lap crash saw him cross the line in 16th.
Jarrad’s Boost Mobile Commodore lined up on the second row of the grid for last night’s opening race. Starting from P3, a quick start saw him surge to the front of the pack before spending the next two laps battling Dayne Warren for the lead.
Jobe managed to avoid the opening lap carnage in the mid pack, moving up four positions from where he started to 16th. The Academy racer found himself one of the fastest on track and by lap four had moved up seven positions to P13.
While the majority of his front-pack competitors peeled off to grab a fresh set of virtual Dunlops on lap four, Jarrad stayed out to inherit the lead on track before pitting the next lap. Unfortunately, a slow pit stop meant it was short lived, with Jarrad coming out of pit exit in P4.
Jobe pitted one lap later and by the final lap of the race had moved inside the top ten and was facing his best result of the season. However, Richard Hamstead, who was the last to pit and on fresher tyres, dive bombed the pack and ultimately took the Pedders car out. Jobe did well to recover and get his car to the finish line, though now in 16th.
The final few laps were equally as intense for Jarrad, who was looking for ways to take advantage as he battled for his spot on the podium. After putting the pressure on second-placed Burton in the final lap, Jarrad couldn’t quite make the move stick and crossed the line in third, snatching up his second podium of the Series.
After the race, Jarrad said: “I had gotten myself in a good position for the race in qualifying. Unfortunately, I just got unlucky with another slow pitstop, which seems to be the theme of my Eseries at the moment. It wasn’t ideal and it really hurt us in the race. We had fixed the issue for Long Beach but it popped up again. But overall, I was happy to be on the podium again but not so happy that we finished where we started. I think we definitely could have been P2, possibly even P1 if we didn’t have that slower pit stop. I really thought we could have fought for the race win there but we’ve got to take the good with the bad.”
Jobe added: “Qualifying was a bit disappointing but it’s definitely better to be starting at the back at this particular track than any other track, especially with all the long straights and passing opportunities. I knew there was going to be a lot of crashes, so I was trying to hang back at the start and managed to avoid most of it until the final lap. One of the guys at the front pitted on the second last lap so he had fresh tyres coming through and then on the second last corner, he made a pretty big dive, went into me and ran me off so I dropped about five spots there. Apart from qualifying, the race was going pretty well compared to the first couple of rounds. Up until that last corner we had gained 10 positions and we’ve been gaining positions every round so far so I think my racing is definitely improving as the series goes on.”
Supercars met NASCAR as the All Stars headed to Daytona International Speedway, where Brodie raced from the second row of the grid, missing out on pole position for the first time this season.
While Brodie took the lead on the opening lap with a strong start, there was carnage for the back half of the field. With nine cars left heavily damaged, a seven-car train developed at the front of the pack, where Brodie sat in P3 after a bump from Macauley Jones saw him lose the lead.
The rest of the race was relatively uneventful until race leader Richie Stanaway’s connection dropped out on lap 17, elevating Brodie to P2 before he took his compulsory pit stop the following lap. Brodie and James Davison followed each other into the pit lane, though a time penalty over Davison saw Brodie emerge the leader.
Brodie’s lead over next-in-line James Golding blew out to 11-seconds by lap 20 when the competition caution was called, closing the gaps on the field. The race resumed at the start of lap 23 for a run to the checkered flag. With Golding right on his tail, Brodie had the car right where he wanted and was unwilling to give up the chance to secure his first Eseries win. With the race now time certain, the #99 driver held on and finally claimed victory at the end of lap 28.
Brodie was relieved to have finally secured his first Eseries victory, saying: “It feels good to get the monkey off my back of the Eseries. It was a pretty boring race, I raced one car to the finish but it was still great to get my first win. The race went pretty much exactly how I expected it to go, I knew it was going to be chaotic and I knew there was only going to be a few cars left on the track for the finish but I picked a good partner to work with. I had been working with Richie before he dropped out, but also James Davidson and James Golding who was able to stick around until the end. It ended up being a two horse race but I was able to finish one better off than him and get the win.”
Brodie’s win sees him move into the top spot of the All Stars leaderboard, 18-points ahead of Richie Stanaway, while teammates Jarrad and Jobe sit P2 and P17 in the Pro Series.
The Eseries will return for Round 4 next week, with All Stars set to run at Michigan and a fans’ choice venue on the card for the Pro Series.