TICKFORD Racing has recruited Jake Kostecki for the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, replacing Jack Le Brocq in its four-driver lineup.
The 21-year-old joins the recently announced James Courtney and reigning Dunlop Super2 Series winner Thomas Randle among the team’s confirmed roster, with the off-contract Cam Waters also expected to continue with Tickford next year.
Kostecki, who scored his first top-five Supercars race finish at Hidden Valley during what is his first full-time season in the championship with Matt Stone Racing, will join the Melbourne-based squad on a multi-year deal.
“It’s a team that has a lot of heritage and has had a lot of success in the past, so I’m really thankful for the opportunity Tim (Edwards) and the team have given me, and I’m really looking forward to getting together with them and getting to work,” Kostecki said.
“To this point I’m still pretty fresh in the series. I haven’t done a full season yet so I know there’s a big challenge ahead, but I’m really keen to learn as much as I can from the team and my teammates.
“To have three teammates and some really good drivers around me, as well as all the knowledge and experience the team at Tickford have, I’m excited to soak up all of that and see where we can go.
“Knowing how successful the team has always been I know I’ll have all the tools to be competitive, I’d really like to get into the top 10 in those first few rounds and then try and progress from there.
“I’m sure it’ll take a lot of work but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and can’t wait to get stuck into it.”
Tickford has a pedigree for turning unproven talents into Supercars race winners, with Kostecki joining a production line that produced drivers the likes of Waters and Chaz Mostert.
“For such a young driver he has a lot of experience in this style of car, and being just 21 years old he has a lot of room to grow,” Tickford team principal Tim Edwards said.
“He’s part of that next generation of young drivers, and we have a very good track record for developing young guys like him into successful racers in this category.
“We see a great opportunity to develop Jake into a front runner in the championship and are looking forward to getting him in the car.
“Jake’s understandably very excited and very committed to making the most of the opportunity here.
“He’s improved quite a bit year on year already and I think he sees the same potential to succeed as we do, which is very encouraging.
“Our driver line up for next year is shaping up very well with a really good mix of youth and experience, which I think will put us in a great position not just for 2022 but also for the years to come.”
LE BROCQ: MOVING TO NEW OPPORTUNITES FOR 2022
Kostecki’s arrival means that Le Brocq will depart the squad after two full-time seasons in the Supercars Championship, highlighted by a breakthrough race victory at Sydney Motorsport Park last year.
It marked the 29-year-old’s second stint with Tickford having contended for the 2016 Super2 Series title with the team and served as Waters’ co-driver for the Enduro Cup.
“I want to thank Tickford for the opportunity to work with them these last two years,” Le Brocq said.
“We’ve had some success together and I have learned a lot. I look forward to finishing off the season with them strongly, and moving to new opportunities in 2022.”
Edwards said Le Brocq had been a real pleasure to work with over the years.
“We’ve enjoyed memorable successes on track together, and some great times off of it, so we’ll miss having him around the team,” Edwards said.
“As a young driver we helped climb the ladder to Supercars, it was really rewarding to see him win his first race in one of our cars last year.
“We have genuinely enjoyed working with Jack over the years, and we look forward to finishing the year strong together before wishing him well in the next chapter of his career.”
As Kostecki joins Tickford, it’s expected that Le Brocq will move the other way and fill the now-vacant seat at Matt Stone Racing for 2022.