Brodie Kostecki has put himself in prime position to wrap up the 2023 Supercars Championship in today’s opener at the Adelaide 500, claiming pole position in a tight Top 10 Shootout.
Shane van Gisbergen, meanwhile, lost ground after qualifying fourth, dropping to sixth on the grid, where he’ll start next to Kostecki’s teammate, Will Brown.
Kostecki only needs to outscore van Gisbergen by 20 points in this evening’s race to clinch the title, with the scene now set for a thrilling battle that leaves the three-time champion plenty of work to do.
Matt Payne was the only other driver to lose positions from his qualifying result, dropping from third to tenth after running long at Turn 9 at the end of the back straight, having set two purple sectors prior.
His teammate David Reynolds earns a front-row start, falling just 0.009 seconds short of Kostecki, while Thomas Randle jumps from fifth to third, only 0.0008 seconds short of second.
James Golding was the first to run and set the benchmark at 1:20.5730, complaining of a lack of grip, which was also apparent on Waters’ lap that followed, with a large lockup into the final turn costing time. Despite this, Waters set a 1:20.3271 to jump to the front.
Mostert then went on to better this with a 1:20.2141, as did Brown, whose 1:20.0641 put him to the top.
De Pasquale was the first driver to go under the 1:20 barrier, his 1:19.9239 being 0.1402 faster than Brown’s flyer. Randle then jumped ahead with a 1:19.8381, ensuring none of the first six drivers lost a place on the grid.
Van Gisbergen, who found the escape road three times during the day’s earlier practice, was the first to drop places, falling behind Randle, De Pasquale and Brown to provisionally sit fourth with three drivers still to run.
Payne then went on to set two purple sectors and was one-tenth up on Randle’s lap but lost a significant chunk of time when he ran long at Turn 9, his 1:21.3822 dropping him to the bottom of the top ten.
Reynolds, however, set himself up for a front-row start with a 1:19.8373, a time that was amazingly just 0.0008 seconds faster than Randle.
With van Gisbergen sitting fifth, Kostecki was given the opportunity to take it to his closest championship contender, and he seized the opportunity to claim the pole with a 1:19.8283, 0.0090 seconds faster than Reynolds.
Today’s Supercars race at the Adelaide 500 begins at 5.20 pm.
Adelaide 500 Race 1 Starting Grid