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How will Kostecki fare on return? Ryan weighs in

BRODIE Kostecki is back and don’t expect there to be any lag in him getting up to speed.

That’s the message from Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan, as the 2023 champion and #1 Camaro belatedly hit the track at a Supercars event for the first time this year.

After a tumultuous off-season that spilled over into the early rounds, resulting in Todd Hazelwood standing in for Kostecki at the Bathurst 500 and Melbourne SuperSprint, Erebus enters the opening day of the ITM Taupō Super400 today at full strength.

At a two-round disadvantage to his competitors, Kostecki could be forgiven for needing time to get back to the dominant form he displayed last year.

But Ryan is emphatic in his belief that Kostecki will be straight on the pace, in a major boost to the Chevrolet squad which currently holds fifth in the teams’ championship.

“Brodie doesn’t do things by halves,” Ryan told V8 Sleuth.

“He has done his preparation, he has done a million laps around here on his sim.

“He doesn’t feel like he needs to actually drive a car on the track, like coming here and driving a Toyota 86 I don’t think is going to help someone like him, because he puts so much into his preparation.

The test day he was on the money the first lap out of the gate, so it’s not going to be any different here.

“It’s a new track for everyone but the way Brodie prepares is the best I’ve ever seen in a driver.

“He is always ready and first lap out of the gate he is always on it, so I’m not expecting anything different.”

Brodie Kostecki during testing at Winton. Pic: Geoff Colson / Supercars

Ryan noted the 26-year-old’s absence was “his business and our business and we’ll just get on with it now”, thanked Hazelwood for filling massive shoes, and declared Kostecki’s presence will help teammate Jack Le Brocq.

“It’s exactly how Jack wanted the year to start too because he wanted to lean on Brodie and learn off him and learn off the best,” said Ryan.

“(At Albert Park, Jack) showed a lot of speed, he probably just didn’t put the races together as good as he wanted to. He was self-critical of that, he just probably put the car in the wrong spot a couple of times.

“You can see he has got the speed; we have always known that, he knows it, but he has just got to get that little boost of confidence.

“He probably just needs one really strong result like a podium and he’ll be off and running.”

Hazelwood is expected to now partner Kostecki in the Sandown and Bathurst enduros, while Jayden Ojeda is in line to team up with Le Brocq.

Following a surprise switch to PremiAir Racing, Kostecki’s former co-driver David Russell will join forces with James Golding.

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