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Supercars The Bend

Supercars The Bend: Kostecki wins as Brown crashes out

Brodie Kostecki widened his Supercars series lead with victory in the opener at The Bend, while Will Brown's title hopes took a hit after retiring following a crash.

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Kostecki was forced to recover after a sluggish start from pole position, overhauling both Chaz Mostert and Thomas Randle in the first stint.

He then benefited from a fierce battle between the pair behind him, eventually cruising to a 1.7s win.

His series lead is now 80 points over Shane van Gisbergen, with Broc Feeney in third, 99 points behind.

Brown's title hopes took a hit, meanwhile, as the Erebus driver taken out of the race in a first-lap crash. He is now fourth in the standings, 141 points behind his team-mate.

The clash was triggered by Jack Le Brocq drilling Brown on the way through Turn 1, after Brown had checked up from light contact with Anton De Pasquale.

Brown's front bar went flying in the melee that followed, while Cameron Hill was forced to spin his MSR Camaro to avoid the mess and was subsequently collected at speed by Jack Smith.

The incident put Brown, Hill and Smith out of the race on the spot.

At the front of the field, Randle made a rapid start from outside the front row to take an early lead. Mostert's start from fifth was even better, as he slipped into second ahead of polesitter Kostecki.

The crash led to a four-lap safety car, and at the restart, Randle continued to lead the field, initially ahead of Mostert. That was until Kostecki pulled a bold move on Mostert at Turn 6 on lap eight to nab second place.

By lap 11, Kostecki was hard on Randle's bumper, having a look around the outside of Turn 6. He then got the job done later in the lap, with Randle and Mostert both diving immediately into the pits.

They resumed nose-to-tail in the same order, squabbling over position from the moment they left the lane.

Kostecki charged on before stopping two laps later, the battle between Randle and Mostert holding them up just enough for Kostecki to resume in the lead.

His cause was further helped on his out-lap when Mostert dive-bombed Randle into Turn 6, with the pair making contact on the exit, which ran Randle wide as Mostert moved into second.

The exchange gave Kostecki the breathing room he needed to establish a lead that he would hold until the chequered flag.

"I made it a bit hard for myself, I didn't get a good jump at the start," said Kostecki. "Chaz and Tom both got a good start so I had to pass them back before the stop. Luckily this Camaro had plenty of pace under its bonnet.

"It's important to keep on building that [points] buffer. The team executed flawlessly and its days like today that you'll cherish forever."

Mostert came home second, while Randle came under pressure from team-mate Cam Waters in the closing stages of the race.

Waters was eventually told not to fight Randle, but it didn't stop him closing right up on Randle's bumper as they crossed the line third and fourth.

That marked both a career-first podium and best finish for Randle.

Van Gisbergen ran down Triple Eight team-mate Broc Feeney in the second stint, with Feeney having stopped on the first green flag lap after the safety car.

The Kiwi then did his usual trick, ran long and had better tyre condition to get past his team-mate in the closing stages.

Feeney finished sixth ahead of Ford trio Matt Payne, James Courtney and Will Davison, with Andre Heimgartner in 10th.

The event continues with two qualifying sessions and two more races on Sunday.

Supercars SuperSprint - results 

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver Car Laps Time Interval Retirement Points
1
B. Kostecki Brodie Kostecki Erebus Motorsport Penrite
Chevrolet 20 -      
2 Australia C. Mostert Chaz Mostert Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford Mustang GT 20 +1.719 1.719    
3 Australia T. Randle Thomas Randle Tickford Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +3.092 1.374    
4 Australia C. Waters Cameron Waters Tickford Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +3.403 0.311    
5 New Zealand S. van Gisbergen Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet 20 +6.011 2.607    
6
B. Feeney Broc Feeney Triple Eight Race Engineering
Chevrolet 20 +7.922 1.911    
7
M. Payne Matthew Payne Grove Racing
Ford Mustang GT 20 +8.146 0.225    
8 Australia J. Courtney James Courtney Tickford Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +10.462 2.316    
9 Australia W. Davison Will Davison Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +11.688 1.226    
10 New Zealand A. Heimgartner Andre Heimgartner Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet 20 +12.961 1.274    
11 Australia A. De Pasquale Anton De Pasquale Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +13.633 0.672    
12 Australia T. Hazelwood Todd Hazelwood Blanchard Racing Team Ford Mustang GT 20 +14.277 0.644    
13 Australia D. Reynolds David Reynolds Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT 20 +15.344 1.067    
14 Australia J. Golding James Golding PremiAir Racing Chevrolet 20 +18.859 3.515    
15 Australia J. Le Brocq Jack Le Brocq Matt Stone Racing Chevrolet 20 +19.439 0.580    
16 Australia T. Slade Tim Slade PremiAir Racing Chevrolet 20 +21.271 1.833    
17 Australia M. Winterbottom Mark Winterbottom Team 18 Chevrolet 20 +21.588 0.316    
18 Australia N. Percat Nick Percat Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford Mustang GT 20 +22.219 0.631    
19
D. Fraser Declan Fraser Tickford Racing
Ford Mustang GT 20 +22.821 0.602    
20 Australia M. Jones Macauley Jones Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet 20 +24.243 1.422    
21 Australia B. Fullwood Bryce Fullwood Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet 20 +25.894 1.652    
22 Australia S. Pye Scott Pye Team 18 Chevrolet 20 +26.753 0.858    
nc Australia W. Brown Will Brown Erebus Motorsport Penrite Chevrolet 0        
nc
C. Hill Cameron Hill Matt Stone Racing
Chevrolet 0        
nc Australia J. Smith Jack Smith Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet 0        

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