Supercars: Will Brown takes big win in Townsville

Continuing his sublime form this weekend in Townsville, Toowoomba’s Will Brown (No. 9 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Camaro) dominated Race 16 of the 2023 Supercars season to take victory in Townsville on Saturday.

It is Brown’s fourth race win of 2023 and fifth of his career. It was also his Erebus team’s first ever win in North Queensland (14th ever win for Erebus) and 6th race win of 2023.

The result puts the 25-year old Toowoomba native atop the championship standings after mechanical issues plagued team mate Brodie Kostecki (No. 99 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Camaro), who had led the championship since Race 6 at Melbourne in April.

Will Brown wins race 1 of the 2023 NTI Townsville 500, Event 6 of the Repco Supercars Championship, Reid Park, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. 8 Jul, 2023.

Second was another youngster who continues to climb through the ranks, Red Bull Camaro’s Broc Feeney, while rounding out the podium was Ford’s best in 2023, Chaz Mostert.

Defending Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen, who famously won his NASCAR debut in Chicago on Monday morning (AEST) finished fourth in the Championship, 110 points behind new leader Brown.

“88 laps around here is a long time, but felt good in there, the car was mega quick on old tires,” Brown said.

“I knew in that first stint, I had really good tire life and used that to my advantage.

“It’s pretty awesome to be nearly halfway through the season and have orange numbers on tomorrow.”

The race’s lone Safety Car, on Lap 69 for the stopped car of Todd Hazelwood (No. 3 CoolDrive Ford Mustang), packed up the field for a restart with 16 laps to go. Despite intense pressure from Broc Feeney (No. 88 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet Camaro) and others, Brown was able to drive away in the race’s closing laps to claim victory by 3.3 seconds over Triple Eight’s Feeney.

After starting an equal season worst 15th in today’s race, Kostecki lost use of first and second gear mid-way through the race, affecting his ability to accelerate and therefore his overall performance for the remainder of the race, ultimately finishing 19th.

Feeney’s result is his sixth consecutive podium finish and 9th from 16 races in 2023, and although he remains third in the championship, now sits one point behind Kostecki and 44 from championship leader Brown.

The only leading car to attempt a three-stop strategy, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert (No. 25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford Mustang) used that late Safety Car to climb to third at the checkered flag, his first podium since the season opening event in Newcastle.

Reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen (No. 97 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet) passed Ford’s Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) in the closing laps for fourth place, with the Kiwi just leading home Mildura-native Waters.

Race Results

1 9 W. Brown Penrite Racing – Erebus +0.000 150
2 88 B. Feeney Red Bull Holden Racing Team +3.301 138
3 25 Mostert WAU Racing Pty Ltd +5.438 129
4 97 Van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Team +11.632 120
5 6 C. Waters Tickford Racing 1 +13.010 111
6 20 S. Pye Team 18 +15.519 102
7 8 Heimgartner Brad Jones Racing +18.448 96
8 14 B. Fullwood Brad Jones Racing +21.769 90
9 5 Courtney Tickford Racing 1 +23.024 84
10 17 Davison Shell V-Power Racing Team +25.193 78
11 18 Winterbottom Team 18 +26.350 72
12 34 J. Le Brocq Matt Stone Racing +27.561 69
13 55 T. Randle Tickford Racing 2 +30.239 66
14 777 D. Fraser Tickford Racing 2 +30.856 63
15 19 M. Payne Penrite Racing +31.305 60
16 96 M. Jones Brad Jones Racing (2) +31.455 57
17 35 C. Hill Matt Stone Racing +34.685 54
18 23 Slade PremiAir Subway Racing +36.365 51
19 99 B. Kostecki Penrite Racing – Erebus +37.626 48
20 31 J. Golding PremiAir Subway Racing +48.799 45
21 26 Reynolds Penrite Racing +53.516 42
22 4 J. Smith Brad Jones Racing (2) +1 Lap 39
23 3 T. Hazelwood CoolDrive Racing +4 Laps 36
24 2 Percat WAU Racing Pty Ltd +12 Laps 33
NC 11 A. de Pasquale Shell V-Power Racing Team +39 Laps 0
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