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Feature: A racer’s racer

When Brodie Kostecki kept seven-time champion Jamie Whincup at bay lap after lap during last year’s Bathurst 1000, the Perth native announced he was ready for the main game.

30 May 2021

Fast forward four months to his first qualifying session as a full-time main-game racer at Bathurst, he proved his October efforts were no fluke by making it into the top-10 Shootout. One round later at Sandown, he was on the podium.

He is now one of the talking points in the paddock as he continues to impress with Erebus Motorsport. We profile the rookie sensation in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #121.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #121.

Kostecki’s grit against Whincup at Mount Panorama last October is much talked about and credited for his elevation into the main game for 2021, but his determination to succeed was on full display in very different circumstances 12 months earlier, at the start of the 2019 Bathurst 1000.

The Kostecki family operation had done the hard yards to enter their maiden enduro campaign in a wildcard entry for Brodie and cousin Jake Kostecki, beginning at Bathurst with Brodie having the honour of starting the Great Race.

“I was very nervous at the start, more so than what I was at the start of this season” recalls Kostecki.

“My family and I had put in so much effort to convert the car from a VF Commodore to a ZB, built a whole lot of stuff to go main-game racing for those three rounds. I felt like there was a whole lot of weight on my shoulders for the start of that race. What would happen if we DNFed or something stupid happened at the start, like a crash or something?”

Kostecki explains how pre-race nerves were soon forgotten, when a malfunction with the dry-ice system for his helmet led to potentially serious health consequences as the result of carbon dioxide poisoning.

“As soon as I left pitlane, I knew something was wrong. But, the further I went, no oxygen was going to my brain, so my brain pretty much switched off.

“I was pretty much like a zombie driving around. I was quite lucky that I didn’t pass out or my foot didn’t get stuck on the throttle and take other cars out or something stupid like that.

“It was definitely a scary moment for me jumping out. When I actually got some fresh air, I didn’t actually know where I was. I was a bit lost but thankfully there are good doctors with Doctor Carl Le and the other medical staff there. They looked after me well and gave me the right treatment and I was able to get back out there in about an hour.”

Kostecki was fortunate and he recovered quickly. And, as for his Supercars career, he continued to impress. He starred with an eighth-place finish in the Sandown 500 primary driver sprint race after winning two Dunlop Super2 Series races at the season-opening Adelaide 500 in 2020, prior to his strong showing alongside Anton De Pasquale at Bathurst.

The 23-year-old’s drive at Bathurst turned heads up and down pitlane, but in Kostecki’s mind he wasn’t racing any differently to how he’s tried to race his whole career.

“Yeah, I think my mindset about going racing doesn’t change depending on the situation I’m in” he says.

“I want to do the best job that I can. If I take the green flag, then you’ve got to believe in yourself and know that you have a chance to win the race. That’s the thinking I take going into every round and every race I do. I jump right in and have a real go at it. That’s always how I’ve gone about my racing.”

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