Supercars champion Kostecki returns to race for Erebus

Oliver Caffrey |

Brodie Kostecki has made his peace with Erebus Motorsport and will return to the grid in Taupo.
Brodie Kostecki has made his peace with Erebus Motorsport and will return to the grid in Taupo.

Brodie Kostecki’s stand-off with Erebus Motorsport has ended, with the reigning Supercars champion to make a shock return for the next round in New Zealand.

Kostecki sat out the first two rounds at Bathurst and Melbourne due to a messy dispute with Erebus that threatened the relationship.

But in a surprise statement on Monday, the team confirmed the 26-year-old would be back in the driver’s seat for Supercars’ return to New Zealand later this month.

Brodie Kostecki will be back in action at Taupo for Erebus Motorsport. (HANDOUT/EDGE PHOTOGRAPHICS)

“I’m excited to be back behind the wheel again. I needed some time away to prioritise my health.” Kostecki said, thanking Erebus owner Betty Klimenko and CEO Barry Ryan for the “support, privacy and time” he had been afforded. 

Ryan was delighted Kostecki had agreed to race at the opening of the Taupo track from April 19.

“On behalf of Betty and the team, we are pleased Brodie is ready to drive again,” Ryan said.

“Having Brodie alongside Jack as he becomes more familiar with our cars will be a positive for our entire team.” 

Ryan also praised the efforts of Todd Hazelwood, who filled in during Kostecki’s absence.

“A big thanks to Todd; he performed brilliantly under considerable pressure and scrutiny, so hats off to him,” he said.

“We look forward to having him at the test day this week and back in the seat for the enduros later in the year.”

Despite losing major sponsors amid the fallout from the saga, Erebus failed to directly address why their star driver had stepped away.

Betty Klimenko
Erebus team owner Betty Klimenko is thrilled to have Brodie Kostecki back on the start-line. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

“We respect the privacy of Brodie … and because of that we can’t say anything,” Klimenko said in February.

An emotional Ryan revealed the toll the saga had taken on him, just months after Kostecki had delivered Erebus their best ever season.

“At the end of last year, we were on top of the world. Everybody believed in us,” Ryan said in February.

“To have people that decided that they didn’t believe in us anymore, that hurts.

“There’s been so much hate, and I’m not that sort of person. I’m not a bully.”

Kostecki will take part in testing at Winton, in northern Victoria, this week to prepare for his first race of the season.

Erebus are fifth in the teams’ championship standings, with Red Bull Ampol pair Will Brown and Broc Feeney enjoying a dominant start to the season.