Boost Mobile Racing powered by Erebus’ Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki have described their weekend as ‘up and down’, after finishing with a best of 7th and 16th respectively in the Top End today.
Off the start, both drivers got away well and did their best to make their way through the opening lap. Will, who started in P19, got shoved onto the grass by Garry Jacobson on the exit of Turn 5.
It gave him prime viewing position of the mess that was about to unfold when James Courtney went into a spin, taking out Scott Pye, Thomas Randle and Todd Hazelwood at the Turn 6 hairpin. Will managed to weave his way through the mess, albeit it now P22.
Brodie, who started from 23rd on the grid, took advantage of the kerfuffle and moved through to P19. The incident caused a red flag and it was on lap 4 that racing resumed.
Brodie was the first to blink, pitting as early as lap 7 for rear tyres only. With a fast car under him, Will rose through the pack and made his way to P17 before pitting for rear tyres on lap 12.
When the field cleansed, Brodie had proven to make the most of his fresh tyres and clean air, moving up to P11. Meanwhile, Will struggled to regain much of the lost ground, and rounded out the top 20.
With aging tyres, Brodie did his best to hold onto his spot just outside the ten, though with five laps remaining he started to struggle on the old rubber. He got as high as 12 spots up from where he started though dropped to P16 on the final lap of the race, with Will behind in P20.
Will took his best starting spot of the weekend from 8th on the grid in the final race, ahead of his teammate who suffered from his worst qualifying in Darwin from P24.
Will got away well, though Brodie had the better start, moving quickly up 3 spots in the first few complexes. Like it had been all weekend, the first few laps were hectic, and Brodie was the bystander when wildcard Jayden Ojeda collided with the #99 Commodore on lap 2.
Brodie copped some damage to the front left, and with a punctured tyre, was forced to pit for new rubber at the end of that lap. Too early for his compulsory pit stop though, he would need to pit again, now from the rear of field.
With a quick race car, Will was looking to make some moves but was getting held up by Broc Feeney and opted to pit at the end of lap 9 for rear tyres only. The #9 Holden re-joined in fresh air, and second in line for those that had pitted.
The Safety Car was then deployed on lap 25 when Zak Best found the tyre wall at the hair pin, and Brodie reacted, immediately pitting for his rear rubber.
With all stops complete and ten laps left to run when racing resumed, both drivers carved out some fast laps and showed good race pace. With those behind him on similar tyres, Will had an easy run home with no pressure, and secured 7th at the finish line and claiming his 7th top 10 finish of the season.
Brodie copped a pit-lane penalty for a Safety Car procedure infringement, though already a lap down, it made no difference to his finish result, and he eventually crossed the line in P24.
The team will now regroup as they head back to headquarters, before the Townsville 500, July 8 – 10.