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Kostecki to post belated milestone

BRODIE Kostecki’s return to Erebus Motorsport for the ITM Taupō Super400 means that he will finally bring up a Supercars career milestone that has been pending since the end of 2023.

Kostecki celebrated his coronation as champion on Sunday at the VAILO Adelaide 500 following his 99th ATCC/Supercars Championship race start.

Under ordinary circumstances, he would have celebrated a century of starts in the opening race of 2024.

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However, Kostecki’s prolonged stalemate with Erebus meant he was absent from the first two rounds at Bathurst and Albert Park.

That means his comeback in the inaugural race at Taupō will also serve as Kostecki’s 100th race start, becoming the 87th driver to reach the mark.

It has taken him just over four years to reach his century, having made his Supercars Championship debut alongside cousin Jake in the Kostecki Brothers Racing wildcard entry at the 2019 Bathurst 1000.

Kostecki was lucky to make the start of that race, too; a problem with his cool-suit box meant his helmet fan was poisoning him with carbon dioxide as he drove the car to the grid, making it as far as Forrest’s Elbow before stopping for medical attention.

He made four more race starts with KBR across the subsequent Gold Coast and Sandown enduros.

Kostecki made his championship debut with wildcard appearances at the 2019 endurance races. Pic: an1images.com / Ross Gibb

All of his other 94 race starts have come with Erebus, beginning with his attention-grabbing co-driver role alongside Anton De Pasquale at the 2020 Bathurst 1000.

On that occasion, Kostecki turned heads by holding his ground against Jamie Whincup as they battled in the early stages, leading to the seven-time Supercars champion making a race-ending mistake at The Cutting.

The drive encouraged Erebus to sign Kostecki as the exiting De Pasquale’s replacement for 2021.

Kostecki earnt his first trip to the podium in the 11th race of his Supercars career, splashing to second place behind Shane van Gisbergen at Sandown.

At year’s end he was standing on the Mount Panorama podium, courtesy of a swashbuckling drive to third place alongside David Russell.

His first pole position came in his 39th start, starring in the damp qualifying session on the Sunday of the 2022 season-opening round at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Kostecki celebrated his maiden Supercars Championship race win at Albert Park just 12 months ago. Pic: Supplied

Kostecki’s breakthrough race win came just over 12 months later in his 75th race start, the first of a pair of wins at Albert Park that asserted his credentials as a title contender.

The champion’s return to his seat with the champion team also means he waves goodbye to another ‘99’.

Erebus has confirmed that Kostecki’s Chevrolet Camaro will carry the reigning champion’s #1 at Taupō.

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