Bathurst 1000 podium finisher makes big switch

Shane van Gisbergen’s ban from competing in Turtle Wax Trans Am has not deterred fellow Supercars racer Brodie Kostecki from entering this weekend’s SpeedSeries round at Queensland Raceway.

Last Monday, Triple Eight Race Engineering confirmed its Repco Supercars Championship-leading driver was told he could not contest the forthcoming Trans Am round.

Although the team indicated there were no outside forces at play, it’s understood that call was made under duress from Supercars management – which prompted a terse response from Trans Am promoters.

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Now, Boost Mobile-backed Kostecki is set to drive the Shaw Motorsport-run Chevrolet Camaro that two-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen had been slated to race.

In doing so, Kostecki will become the first active Supercars driver to contest Trans Am.

Last year, the driver affectionately known as “Bush” scored his first Bathurst 1000 podium, finishing third with co-driver David Russell.

It marks a return of sorts for the Perth-born driver, who raced in a NASCAR feeder series across the United States during his formative years.

The Trans Am Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger are built around a similar philosophy to NASCAR’s junior categories.

“The Trans Am cars are pretty similar to what I drove in the States a few years ago,” Kostecki said.

“They have the same tyre and the cars are built relatively the same. It might take me a little while to get back in the swing of it, but I’m really looking forward to it. 

“It’s exciting to get the call up for Tim to drive his car. I will race anything with four wheels and a roof. That’s what I’m all about. 

“I love hard racing, and this is a very competitive series up front. It’s great that I have the chance to dip my toes in a new class and have a go.

“I’m pretty competitive, I want to go and do the best I can. I want to come home with a trophy, but we’ll see how the weekend unfolds.”

It means Supercars squad Erebus Motorsport will have two of its drivers competing in SpeedSeries categories. 

Will Brown continues his Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series campaign with Melbourne Performance Centre across the August 5-7 weekend.

The Audi RS 3 LMS driver sits ninth in the series just 69 points in arrears of leader Tony D’Alberto of Wall Racing, who is yet to get a win this season.

“In the wake of SVG being restricted, the opportunity came up for Brodie to drive my Trans Am car,” said Shaw Motorsport owner Tim Shaw.

“During a conversation with Barry Ryan [Erebus Motorsport CEO], it seemed like a good fit. 

“Brodie did a couple of seasons in NASCAR-style cars. He is a very talented driver and has a good relationship with the team at Norwell Motorplex, where our car is based.

“Barry is a hardcore racer and keen to promote his drivers. He wants to see his drivers in race cars and see them get miles. 

“Will Brown races in TCR, so this is not a strange thing for him to allow his drivers to sample other, different machinery.

“The more they race, the more the drivers and their teams build their fanbase. I love Brodie and Barry’s attitude, it’s great for motorsport.”

It’s expected nearly 30 cars will contest the forthcoming Trans Am round.

Owen Kelly currently leads Garry Rogers Motorsport teammate Nathan Herne by just six points in the title race. Wall Racing’s Tim Brook is a further 11 points behind in third.

Also on the bill for the SpeedSeries round includes Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia, the Australian Production Car Series, GC Marine Australian Prototype Series and Radical Australia Cup.

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