Preston Hire Racing have seen youngster Kurt Kostecki improve throughout the weekend at Queensland Raceway for Round 8 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Ipswich SuperSprint marked the 50th Race Event for Team 18 and the halfway point in the Supercars season. Co-Driver Karl Reindler stepped into the Next Gen Holden Commodore for the Additional Drivers Practice session where he finished in P18.
“It was great to get back in the car on a decent tyre and it’s the first time we’ve been able to baseline the front end difference between Kurt and Lee’s car. There is a bit of a difference and hopefully the session gave enough feedback to kick off Kurt’s weekend on the right foot,” Reindler said.
Kostecki impressed Team Manager Jeff Grech in Friday’s first practice session with guidance from Reindler and Head Engineer Jason Bush, finishing P25.
“I thought we did a really good job given Kurt hasn’t driven this track before, by the end he was only a couple of tenths of a second off the top. Bushy has worked really well coaching him on the braking and Karl has been helping out a lot as well so we are really pleased with the first session,” Grech said.
The second practice saw Kostecki finish in P26, admitting an error in the dying seconds of the session cost him a good lap time on the green tyre.
“I made a mistake on the green tyre lap so there was a bit of a missed opportunity there, we are slowly working out the car and the drive so hopefully we will move forward some more over the weekend,” Kostecki said.
Saturday’s final practice session saw Kostecki finish P25, which he later improved on, finishing P24 in Qualifying, after his green tyre lap was cut short after the session was red flagged.
Kostecki piloted the Number 18 Commodore for 39 laps in Race 16 of the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship to finish P24.
Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt was impressed with the improvements Kostecki had displayed on track in the short time between the Townsville 400 and the Ipswich SuperSprint.
“Kurt did a really good job, he kept it consistent, he passed cars in race conditions and learnt the track well so we are definitely moving forward,” Schwerkolt said.
Race 17 saw Preston Hire Racing move higher again, when Kostecki finished P21 after 65 laps of competitive racing.
“It was a really good race, I’ve learnt heaps from having a tyre from start to finish and trying to manage gaps from people behind and in front, it’s great to come back in with a straight car! I’ll take away from this when I head back to DVS at Sandown,” Kostecki said.
Preston Hire Racing will now head back to their Melbourne Garage and prepare their new Number 18 Holden for the Sydney SuperSprint for Round 9 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on August 26-27 where all races will be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.