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Kostecki fastest in interrupted Bathurst qualifying  

BRODIE Kostecki has soared to provisional pole for the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000, but it was a mixed qualifying session for Erebus Motorsport.

While Kostecki was untouchable, his teammate Will Brown blotted his copybook by bringing out the red flags after just four minutes.

The catalyst was a crash at Griffins Bend, his #9 Coca-Cola Camaro becoming wedged under the tyre barriers.

That came at the start of the first lot of flying laps, meaning everyone returned to the lane without a time on the board.

Once freed from the barriers, Brown was able to limp his car back to the pits where his crew was ready and waiting to rip into some rapid repairs.

Helping their cause was a delay for barrier repairs, not to mention another red flag period soon after.

The #9 Camaro undergoing repairs. Pic: Ross Gibb

This time it was Declan Fraser who’d come unstuck, walloping the wall at Reid Park.

That forced the rookie to park up his battered #56 Tradie Mustang, with immediate doubts around whether it will be fixed in time for Sunday’s race.

That left cars to pit once more, with the remainder of the red flag stoppage time used up as the session resumed with exactly 30 minutes on the clock.

Finally, almost half an hour after the session began, Broc Feeney put the first time on the board, a 2:05.3575s.

Right at the same time, Erebus was giving Brown’s car the green light, getting him back in the hunt having lost next to nothing on his rivals – albeit carrying some battle scars.

Meanwhile, the times were plummeting moments after Feeney crossed the line, with Anton De Pasquale improving to a 2:05.2242s before Cam Waters became the first driver to take a Gen3 Supercar into the ‘fours’.

Waters managed a superb 2:04.9909s but that was no match for Practice 4 star Brodie Kostecki, who subsequently shot to the top by three tenths despite finding traffic in the form of Mark Winterbottom’s DeWalt Camaro at the Elbow.

Nevertheless, 2:04.6644s had Kostecki on for provisional pole, allowing the championship leader to relax as others hunted gains.

Of course, the chief concern was merely booking a berth in the Top 10 Shootout, with only positions 11-28 being locked in at the end of today.

And entering the closing few minutes, there were some big names in danger of missing the cut with Shane van Gisbergen 11th, Brown 14th and Chaz Mostert right on the bubble in 10th.

Another driver loitering outside the 10 at crunch time was Scott Pye, who’d finished second in Practice 4 but was forced to pit mid-session after clipping the fence at Griffins Bend.

It all culminated in a couple of flying runs, although both Erebus cars would return to the pits.

That left Brown to slide down to 17th, while Kostecki remained comfortably at the top.

The #99 Erebus Camaro. Pic: Supplied

Pye and Andre Heimgartner improved but not by enough to bump Mostert, who then defied a wild slide at McPhillamy to secure his place.

That put Thomas Randle on the bubble and he proved the unlucky casualty as van Gisbergen at last put a lap together to grab seventh.

So, the 10 drivers proceeding to the Shootout will be: Kostecki, James Golding, De Pasquale, Waters, Feeney, David Reynolds, van Gisbergen, Matt Payne, Mostert and Will Davison.

Repco Supercars Championship action resumes with Practice 5, dedicated to co-drivers, at 10am AEDT.

Final practice at 1pm will be open to all drivers, before the Top 10 Shootout takes centre stage from 5:05pm.

RESULTS: Qualifying, Repco Bathurst 1000

199Brodie KosteckiErebusChevrolet2m04.6644s
231James GoldingPremiAirChevrolet+0.1489s
311Anton De PasqualeDJRFord+0.3023s
46Cam WatersTickfordFord+0.3265s
588Broc FeeneyTriple EightChevrolet+0.3880s
626David ReynoldsGroveFord+0.4186s
797Shane van GisbergenTriple EightChevrolet+0.5179s
819Matthew PayneGroveFord+0.5446s
925Chaz MostertWAUFord+0.5533s
1017Will DavisonDJRFord+0.6207s
1155Thomas RandleTickfordFord+0.7155s
1220Scott PyeTeam 18Chevrolet+0.7775s
138Andre HeimgartnerBJRChevrolet+0.8056s
1435Cameron HillMSRChevrolet+0.8251s
1534Jack Le BrocqMSRChevrolet+0.8430s
165James CourtneyTickfordFord+0.8463s
179Will BrownErebusChevrolet+0.8937s
1823Tim SladePremiAirChevrolet+0.9200s
1918Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Chevrolet+1.1351s
20888Zane GoddardTriple EightChevrolet+1.1867s
2114Bryce FullwoodBJRChevrolet+1.2762s
223Todd HazelwoodBRTFord+1.2903s
232Nick PercatWAUFord+1.3553s
2496Macauley JonesBJRChevrolet+1.5526s
2598Kai AllenDJRFord+1.5773s
267Aaron LoveBRTFord+1.8668s
274Jack SmithBJRChevrolet+2.5067s
2856Declan FraserTickfordFord+8m42.845s
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