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Ranked: Top 10 Supercars drivers of 2022

WITH the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship run and done, the time has come for an annual industry favourite: ranking the season’s best performers.

A total of 57 drivers featured in the main game this season, 29 of which in a solo capacity.

Of course, when it comes to motorsport, there are many factors involved in attaining a result and indeed an objective assessment of a driver’s efforts.

How did their results correlate with the level of their team? Did they stack up well against their teammate(s)? Is their championship position representative of the season they had?

To cut through all that, V8 Sleuth’s head of publications Stefan Bartholomaeus and website editor Connor O’Brien joined forces to debate and eventually determine our top 10 Supercars drivers of the year.

We start with an honourable mention to James Courtney, who only narrowly missed out on making the list after a campaign in which he scored three podiums and proved second-best of the Tickford Racing drivers.

10) James Golding

James Golding. Pic: PremiAir Racing

SB: James Golding was just what PremiAir Racing needed when it split with Garry Jacobson six events into the season.

Golding made the most of his first solo Supercars starts since 2019 and ticked off a series of milestones for the first-year squad.

They included PremiAir’s first top 10 qualifying result (Sandown) and maiden Shootout appearance (Gold Coast), which helped earn Golding a full season in 2023.

CO: We never really got to see how good Golding was during his first time around in Supercars. This time we did.

It’s never easy jumping into a team mid-season but the former Garry Rogers Motorsport protégé excelled.

Sure, there were a couple of costly crashes, but he very much put PremiAir Racing on the map as a genuine top 10 contender and gave reason to expect more success in 2023.

9) Andre Heimgartner

Andre Heimgartner at Pukekohe. Pic: Brad Jones Racing

SB: Heimgartner’s move from Grove Racing to a Brad Jones Racing outfit that had lost its star driver, engineering chief and team manager came with plenty of question marks.

But after a patchy first three rounds it clicked and Heimgartner was a strong performer through the bulk of the season, enhancing his reputation as a genuine talent.

Four podiums marked the most in a season for a BJR driver since 2015. Two of those came at Pukekohe in what was a stellar weekend under the spotlight of his home crowd.

Five failures to score (none of which were Heimgartner’s fault) cost him dearly in the final standings but did not keep him out of the top 10 entirely.

MORE: BJR race winner set for UK move

CO: Three rounds in, Heimgartner’s move from Grove Racing to Brad Jones Racing looked like a disaster, caught up in a litany of incidents while his old team was flying.

But from Perth onwards – barring some more carnage at The Bend and Bathurst – Heimgartner cemented himself as a regular frontrunner.

Four podiums, including two on home soil, marked an excellent first year as BJR’s new team leader.

8) Brodie Kostecki

Brodie Kostecki (right) with engineer George Commins after nabbing pole at Sydney Motorsport Park. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

SB: Having been outshone by teammate and fellow rookie Will Brown in the back half of 2021, Kostecki entered the new season with a point to prove.

He did that immediately, taking a pole and a podium at the Sydney opener, and remained the lead Erebus driver in the standings throughout.

Like in 2021, Kostecki’s best work came at Bathurst (where he only just missed the podium) and he ended the year a credible ‘best of the rest’ behind the six top guns.

CO: It was an odd year in some ways for Erebus, but Kostecki again shone bright – especially at the start and end of the year when his qualifying was on-song.

Kostecki particularly excelled on the big stages, such as Bathurst, where he nearly made it two podiums on the trot.

All told, he finished seven places and 428 points clear of teammate Will Brown… it’s no wonder rival teams were sniffing around before the #99 driver committed to a two-year extension.

7) Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

SB: De Pasquale built a solid campaign through the first half of 2022; piling on nine podiums through to the end of Round 7 in Townsville.

However, there were just two more podium visits thereafter, and he slipped from a long-held second in the standings to an eventual fourth.

That was just enough to edge teammate Will Davison but, to the surprise of many, it was the veteran who proved the outright quicker driver for the bulk of the campaign.

While that teammate comparison grabbed the most attention, coming off second best in several on track battles with the likes of Shane van Gisbergen also shone an unwanted spotlight on his race craft.

CO: Some second-year blues here.

De Pasquale starred last year with his superb one-lap pace but that abandoned him to a degree in 2022, as the head-to-head qualifying scoreboard swung comfortably in Will Davison’s favour (20-14).

There was one win, a further 10 podiums and reasonable overall consistency, but one can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed.

6) David Reynolds

David Reynolds at Symmons Plains. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

SB: Reynolds put a disrupted end to his 2021 campaign behind him to finish inside the championship’s top 10 for the first time since 2019.

He rode the wave of an immediate uplift in performance upon the arrival of ex-Triple Eight engineer turned team principal David Cauchi, with seven podiums in the first 14 races.

Just one more followed in the final 20 races; a brilliant second from pole position on the Gold Coast in a race where his steering wheel came loose, and his cool suit failed.

There were plenty of ups and downs in between, but Reynolds was the clear team leader at Groves and showed he’s still among the category’s elite.

CO: In 2022, we saw a new and improved Reynolds after having seemed a shadow of himself the previous couple of years.

Back to his exuberant best, Reynolds made seven visits to the podium and was also fourth on five occasions.

He qualified well (28-6 head-to-head against a known quantity in Lee Holdsworth), raced harder than sometimes we’ve seen from him, minimised errors, and proved that he still does belong at the front.

MORE: Tander opens up on Ford switch

5) Broc Feeney

A jubilant Broc Feeney. Pic: Supplied

SB: Feeney’s 2022 was the antithesis of typical ‘boom and bust’ rookie campaign and included just one DNF (an innocent victim of the Sunday carnage on the Gold Coast).

Conversely, a podium in Round 2 at the Triple Eight-friendly Symmons Plains was a false read on the level that Feeney could sustain in year one.

He was pushed around in the pack several times during the early rounds and rarely challenged teammate Shane van Gisbergen for pace.

When a winning chance presented itself in Adelaide though he was up for the fight, fending off Chaz Mostert liked a seasoned pro and laying a solid foundation for a big 2023.

CO: What a difference one race makes.

Don’t get me wrong, Feeney was having quite a fine rookie season, running consistently in the back half of the top 10 all year (albeit in a car with which his teammate was dominating).

But everything changed on the final day of the season, when the 20-year-old delivered that knockout blow to show he really is a super special talent who can challenge and beat the best in the business.

He’ll only become more and more formidable as the years roll on.

4) Will Davison

Will Davison. Pic: Nathan Wong

SB: Can a 40-year-old with over 15 years of Supercars experience be classed as the revelation of the season?

Davison defied expectations he’d play second fiddle at DJR with an impressive campaign that included wins in Perth (his first in six years), Sandown and Pukekohe, and 14 podiums.

His most impressive efforts though came in qualifying as he recorded nine poles (only one shy of category leader Cam Waters) and a 20-14 head-to-head record against De Pasquale.

A crash at Bathurst was a clear low-point and contributed to being narrowly eclipsed by De Pasquale in the final standings but shouldn’t take the shine off a strong year.

CO: It feels almost unfair that Davison ended up the lower ranked DJR driver in the championship.

Through various chunks of the year, Davison was Shane van Gisbergen’s chief challenger.

The veteran defied his age to put the #17 Mustang on the front row for almost half of the 34 races and really got his elbows out when it came to race time.

The victory drought is over. He tallied three wins in 2022, and that should have been at least four had it not been for a Pukekohe pitstop disaster which cost him the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.

3) Chaz Mostert

Chaz Mostert came close to his third Peter Brock Trophy. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

SB: Once again in 2022, Mostert’s best was absolutely brilliant. Of five wins, his tyre conservation mastery on Sunday at Hidden Valley was the best of the bunch.

But simply matching his third place in the standings from 2021 was ultimately short of the lofty expectations that last December’s Bathurst win and a Round 1 victory created.

Wild early form swings stabilised as the season wore on, but the double-act of Mostert and engineer Adam De Borre still didn’t hit the sweet spot consistently enough.

How much of that lays with Mostert is hard to determine, and his 33-1 qualifying record against teammate Nick Percat suggest the driver largely made the most of what he had.

CO: Success was intermittent but this was certainly Mostert and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s most meaningful campaign yet.

Mostert made it five wins for the year with that emotional one-two in Adelaide and finished the season on a five-race podium streak.

Can the Ford switch be just what he and the team needs to take the next step?

2) Cam Waters

Cam Waters on the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 podium. Pic: Nathan Wong

SB: Cam Waters was the Supercars qualifying king in 2022; 10 pole positions (including Bathurst) and a $10,000 cheque a fine recognition of his explosive single lap pace.

While he converted just three into wins, his willingness to take it to van Gisbergen in door-to-door combat and his resolve under pressure were impressive.

Two wins at Winton were testament to those traits and he also gallant in defeat, pushing the #97 Holden to the very edge on numerous occasions, most famously at Pukekohe.

The counterpoints were incidents with other drivers at Symmons Plains, Albert Park and Adelaide that hurt his tally but ultimately mattered little in the final reckoning.

CO: Another runner-up finish for Waters and another season in which he was clearly van Gisbergen’s nearest match.

No other driver can go toe-to-toe with SVG like the Monster Mustang man and that made for some epic tussles at Winton and Pukekohe.

The year started poorly and ended somewhat uninspiringly, but he dazzled during a mid-season stretch of 12 podiums from 18 races – and took home the pole award.

1) Shane van Gisbergen

Shane van Gisbergen

SB: Reigning champion van Gisbergen raised the bar again in 2022 with a record-breaking run to his third career title.

The fact that just six of his 21 race wins came from pole position emphasises how superior the Kiwi was in the races, often coming from behind with sublime tyre management.

Fighting through the pack to record a brilliant victory at Pukekohe was his crowning achievement; no mean feat in a year that also included a Bathurst win.

It was not a perfect season, but perhaps as close to it as a driver could get in such a competitive championship, and one that has left many pondering whether he needs a new challenge.

CO: Wow. We really did see something special from van Gisbergen this year – and that’s without even taking his rallying feats into account.

Van Gisbergen lifted in qualifying but it’s still in race trim where he really turns it on.

He outsmarted his rivals both in door-to-door combat and on strategy. The result? A record-breaking 21 wins for the year.

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