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Brown’s redemption in last Erebus Bathurst start

WILL Brown wasted no time in trying to make amends for his Repco Bathurst 1000 qualifying blunder, with a stunning opening stint in the race.

Brown was one of 12 designated primary drivers to start the Great Race and was lining up just 17th on the grid after failing to get into the Top 10 Shootout following a costly crash at Griffins Bend.

In his sixth and last Bathurst start for Erebus, Brown quickly scythed his way through the field to bring the #9 Coca-Cola Camaro back into contention.

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He was up to 12th by the end of Lap 1. Five laps later he was eighth. That became fifth by Lap 19.

Brown eventually pitted from third on Lap 26, the #97 and #31 Camaros ahead having already dove into the lane.

A lot of that hard work was undone when co-driver Jack Perkins lost ground double-stacking behind the sister #99, dropping the #9 back to 14th.

Perkins floated in the midfield thereafter until handing the car back to Brown.

From there, the five-time Supercars race winner snuck home on the alternate strategy, stopping just once in the last 56 laps.

Without a Safety Car during the second half of the race to help bunch up the field, the best Brown could recover to was hanging on for eighth (after ceding seventh to Bryce Fullwood on the penultimate lap).

“It was a bit of a tough one, starting off 17th was always going to make it hard but we moved our way through in the first stint, I was able to come all the way through to I think it was fourth position, which was absolutely awesome,” said Brown.

Damage sustained to Will Brown’s Camaro during Bathurst qualifying. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

“And then we put Jack in for a double stint which is always long for a co-driver.”

Perkins, who hailed Brown’s start as “brilliant”, continued: “To get up to fourth, we were sort of licking our lips there, it was looking really good.

“But then we had a double stack and a couple of things didn’t go our way. It just didn’t sort of work out.

“I ended up being in the car for four stints effectively and then handed back to Will and we finished eighth. That’s three years together and I enjoyed every minute of it and thanks to the team for having me along.”

Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown and Jack Perkins. Pic: Ross Gibb

Brown and Perkins will part ways now, with the former to join Triple Eight in 2024 where he is set to have Scott Pye as his enduro co-driver.

Brown’s charge, combined with misfortunate for Triple Eight’s #88 crew, means he has now reclaimed third position in the championship ahead of Broc Feeney.

“The way Will drove through the pack from 17th up to fourth or something… he obviously let himself and the team down in Friday qualifying but he made up for it,” Erebus CEO Barry Ryan told V8 Sleuth.

“He got a good result and some good points.”

Erebus is 179 points clear of Triple Eight in the teams’ title race with two rounds remaining.

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