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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Why Kostecki’s Supercars absence is not all dangerous information

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With motor racing movies within the information a lot in the mean time, here’s a story pitch to contemplate.

A rich motorsport fanatic buys a profitable motor racing crew, makes quite a few dramatic (and costly) modifications and watches it change into, properly, much less profitable. Then, by means of a protracted collection of ups and downs – finest proven maybe by a smash-cut dream sequence – they win the biggest race of the year. Cue tears, roll the credit and sit again to look at the field workplace receipts roll in.

What’s subsequent? A sequel! Oh no, the team’s star driver ups and leaves, in order that they enroll two fresh-faced children, tighten their belts and purpose for the highest. Each youngsters step it up and final 12 months, certainly one of them takes the title – and the crew topples the massive youngsters on the finish of the pitlane and wins their own crown, and much more tears ensue.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Possibly it was.

Autosport High 50 of 2023: #28 Brodie Kostecki

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Simply what has occurred to drive a wedge between Supercars champion Brodie Kostecki and Erebus Motorsport will, in all chance, come out within the fullness of time. However for proper now, what we do know is that this; when it comes time for twenty-four Supercars to take to the observe to open the 2024 season (on the hallowed tarmac of Bathurst, no much less) Kostecki will not be there.

What has been confirmed is that Kostecki can be sitting out the opening spherical; past that, who can say? After a pair of considerably optimistic statements, each the crew and Supercars can be hopeful that no matter was the reason for the rift could be repaired in time for the remainder of the season.

That’s an admirable sentiment. However does that ever occur in skilled motorsport?

Picture by: Edge Photographics

Kostecki celebrating his maiden Supercars title in Adelaide

It isn’t unknown for drivers to separate with groups after successful a title (sure, I’m you, Nigel Mansell). In Supercars it occured again in 2010, when James Courtney gained the V8 Supercars crown in dramatic vogue whereas within the background, a battle between the co-owners of Dick Johnson Racing was simmering away. On the finish of the season, Johnson and co-owner Charlie Schwerkolt went their separate methods and, with the help of some stellar administration by a minimum of Alan Gow, Courtney and his #1 plate decamped to the Holden Racing Group for a profitable, pink lion future.

However that’s not what has occurred this time. Courtney had a drive to go to and, at the least on the time of writing, Kostecki doesn’t. The notion of a driver, on the very top of his powers, preferring to take a 12 months off as an alternative of competing in a possible race-winning automotive is one thing that takes some getting used to.

There have been options for a while that each one was not properly at Erebus. That star driver who departed, David Reynolds, gained Bathurst with the crew in 2017 and would have gained once more a 12 months later had he not been struck down late in the race with cramp. He was on a long-term contract with the crew however on the finish of 2020 he immediately left. Reynolds, a person normally solely too completely satisfied to have a chat about the way in which of the world, has since remained shtum as to the explanation why.

Kostecki was already trying to a NASCAR way forward for his personal for 2025 and was scheduled to drive in as many as 5 races within the USA this season, in a three way partnership between Erebus and Richard Childress Racing

So what has occurred at Erebus? Who can, or will, say? However as in life, issues in motorsport are not often mounted by leaving the identical individuals who had been there when these issues began.

And what’s going to Supercars itself do? Shane van Gisbergen, who pushed Kostecki so onerous within the title race, has gone off to an American future in NASCAR. So too is the person he changed on the throne, Scott McLaughlin, besides his journey is in IndyCar. Jamie Whincup is retired. To discover a former champion on the Supercars grid it’s a must to look to Mark Winterbottom, whose title season got here 9 years in the past.

If Kostecki does stay absent, any plans that Supercars had that revolved round selling the battle between the most recent champion and his challengers should be positioned on the again burner. That’s the dangerous information.

The excellent news is… perhaps not all that dangerous. Kostecki was already trying to a NASCAR way forward for his personal for 2025 and, until there’s some form of deadlock, was scheduled to drive in as many as 5 races within the USA this season, in a three way partnership between Erebus and Richard Childress Racing. No matter post-Kostecki plans had been being put in place for 2025 would possibly simply must be fast-tracked.

Hazelwood will replace Kostecki at Bathurst

Picture by: Edge Photographics

Hazelwood will exchange Kostecki at Bathurst

So, 2024 appears to be an amazing alternative to push the children into the highlight. The standard is there and it’s deep; Will Brown, Kostecki’s former team-mate, joins Broc Feeney at Triple Eight. Super2 graduate Aaron Love will be part of Courtney at Blanchard Racing Group (sure, the crew’s driver lineup is ‘Courtney/Love’). As ordinary there can be a brace of impressively swift New Zealanders, led by prodigal son Richie Stanaway, Adelaide 500 winner Matt Payne, former Porsche high gun Jaxon Evans and Ryan Wooden.

What for Erebus? Jack Le Brocq is already in place and has labored with the crew earlier than whereas Todd Hazelwood, confirmed by the crew for the primary race, has six seasons with three completely different groups. Between their mixed 251 begins, there are two race wins and 4 podium finishes. Not horrible, however it’s troublesome to label both of them as a title contender.

Sports activities movies normally have completely satisfied endings. Seabiscuit gained that race in California. Roy Hobbs hit one final dwelling run in The Pure. Sylvester Stallone even saved a penalty in Escape to Victory. Brodie Kostecki and Erebus Motorsport would possibly get their completely satisfied endings as properly. However from this seat within the stalls, proper now it’s troublesome to assume that we is likely to be two utterly separate screenplays.

Victory celebrations could be fewer and further between for Erebus this term

Picture by: Edge Photographics

Victory celebrations may very well be fewer and additional between for Erebus this time period

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