on 25 Nov 2023
Cameron Waters has won the first 250km race of the VAILO Adelaide 500 while Brodie Kostecki has clinched the 2023 Supercars championship in a big day at the track for race fans.
No matter whether you follow the Ford Mustang drivers or those behind the wheel of Chevrolet Camaros, the race results provided something to cheer about.
Waters, from Monster Energy Racing, took the win in front of packed grandstands and a full in-field of racegoers who were excited to see a dramatic day of action.
“I’m lost for words to be honest,” the Mustang driver said of his win.
“To win here in Adelaide - it’s probably one of my favourite races of the year, the fans here are amazing.”
Kostecki, from CocaCola Racing by Erebus, secured the championship thanks to a first-lap crash that meant his title rival did not finish the race.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet - you don’t want to win a championship when your contender’s knocked out of the race,” the Camaro driver said.
“It’s been a whirlwind year and we’ve worked so hard to do what we’ve done today.”
The Ford Mustangs of Waters, David Reynolds, Thomas Randle and Chaz Mostert took a clean sweep of the first four places of the first race, with Broc Feeney the first of the Chevrolet Camaros in fifth ahead of championship winner Brodie Kostecki in sixth.
Kostecki needed only to finish the race in 19th or better to secure the championship, after a first-lap crash took out the only driver who could mathematically beat him to it this weekend, Shane van Gisbergen.
The damage was done to van Gisbergen’s car as well as the Supercars championship battle on the fourth corner of the race when Kostecki’s teammate Will Brown rebounded off of a rival’s car and into the wall, leaving van Gisbergen with little room and no choice but to collide with him.
With his Camaro returning to the pits on the back of a flat truck, his race was done and the championship fight was over.
Earlier in the day, Kostecki had followed up his Friday qualifying pace to win pole position in the Top Ten Shootout.
He drove 0.01 seconds faster than Reynolds to set up a Camaro vs Mustang front row, with van Gisbergen qualifying sixth.
But during the race Kostecki could not hold on to first position, which was first taken by Reynolds a third of the way through the 78-lap race, then Waters at about the halfway mark.
They were positions he could afford to concede, however, to ensure he would still be presented with the championship trophy on Sunday.
The TyrePower V8 SuperUtes got the day off to a flying start but the first race of the day had a slow finish under safety car after Adrian Cottrell knocked the wall in the staircase and his Holden Colorado flipped on to its side.
The Fanatac GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS had a very close finish with Liam Talbot taking the win in his Audi by less than a second in front of Yasser Shahin’s Porsche.
The S5000 Australian Drivers Championship race was won by championship leader Aaron Cameron - also under safety car - after Mark Rosser’s race car became the first serious victim of the day at Turn 8.
The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series also finished under the yellow flag when John Bowe’s car came to a stop and couldn’t be removed from the run-off in time, with South Australian driver Joel Heinrich from South Australian team Whiteline Racing taking the chequered flag.
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup race was marred by a big hit by Matt Belford at Turn 8 which knocked a wheel off and sent his Porsche spinning down Brabham Straight, with Dale Wood taking the chequered flag.
The Dunlop Series saw several drivers hit the concrete walls causing major panel damage to their V8 vehicles but Ryan Wood survived to take the win ahead of Cooper Murray.
The off-track attractions took on new heights as first the gondolas of the Golden North Ferris Wheel, then the Airtime FMX, Xtreme Trials Show and Boost Mobile Freestyle BMX competitors, and finally the RAAF F-35A Lightning II jet took to the skies.
A long line of fans took the chance to get the autograph of VAILO Adelaide 500 fanbassador Craig Lowndes and also gathered around American TV custom car builders Dave Kindig and Kevin Schiele as they judged the Show N’ Shine for the Kindig Custom Car Show.
The merchandise tents were packed full of fans securing an end-of-year bargain (as well as a few early Christmas presents) while the HomeStart Family Zone was full of kids enjoying a fun day out.
Most of the crowd then headed to the Concert Oval straight after the chequered flag was waved to catch the After Race Concert, headlined by Icehouse.