Supercars championship leader Brodie Kostecki has secured pole for the 60th Bathurst 1000 with the biggest winning margin in a top-10 shootout for 20 years.
After an edgy start to his hot lap, the Erebus star converted his provisional pole to the real deal with some sheer brilliance around Mount Panorama on Saturday
Kostecki will start on the front-row with Red Bull Ampol’s Broc Feeney, who was second-quickest but ultimately not close to his fellow Chevrolet Camaro driver.
The 25-year-old’s margin of 0.4830 seconds over Feeney was the greatest for a Mount Panorama shootout since Greg Murphy’s legendary ‘Lap of the Gods’ in 2003.
Noted qualifier Cam Waters was third after securing pole for two of the previous three Bathurst 1000s.
The Mildura-born product will start in the top-three of a great race for the fifth-consecutive year.
It was Kostecki’s seventh pole of the season, and he will be aiming to make it a seventh race win of 2023 on Sunday.
“That little mistake I thought was gonna cost me, but the car was awesome across the top,” Kostecki said.
“I just threw it down the hill and I wasn’t actually sure if I was going to come out the other side.
“Very proud of this whole team and really excited to be starting off the front-row tomorrow.
“Some guys are putting out some really good laps and I knew I had the best track advantage with the heat and shade coming across the track.”
After being fastest in two practices, the first qualifying session, and the shootout, Kostecki’s performances have struck fear into the paddock.
Ford rival Anton De Pasquale, who will start the race from fifth, declared it would be a “miracle” if Kostecki didn’t win his first Bathurst 1000.
Kostecki and co-driver David Russell finished fourth at Mount Panorama last year after securing third in 2021.
De Pasquale’s Shell V-Power teammate Will Davison was the first driver out of the pits, skidding on turn one, and ultimately qualified 10th.
PremiAir Racing’s James Golding was the surprise performer, qualifying fourth and will start in the best position in his eighth Bathurst 1000.
New Zealander Matt Payne threw down the gauntlet with an impressive lap but his hopes of becoming the first rookie to secure a Bathurst pole since Marcos Ambrose in 2001 quickly disappeared.
Three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen produced the sixth-fastest as he aims to back up last year’s Bathurst 1000 win, this time with new co-driver Richie Stanaway.
Kostecki has a 155-point lead over van Gisbergen in this year’s standings, with only rounds on the Gold Coast and in Adelaide to come following Bathurst.
The 161-lap race will get underway at 11.15am AEDT on Sunday.
BATHURST 1000 TOP-10 SHOOTOUT RESULTS
1. Brodie Kostecki (Erebus)
2. Broc Feeney (Red Bull Ampol)
3. Cam Waters (Tickford)
4. James Golding (PremiAir Racing)
5. Anton De Pasquale (Shell V-Power)
6. Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Ampol)
7. David Reynolds (Grove Racing)
8. Matt Payne (Grove Racing)
9. Chaz Mostert (Walkinshaw Andretti United)
10. Will Davison (Shell V-Power)