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Supercars Gold Coast 500 Talking Points: A couple of last lap thrillers, a title deciding duel beckons... and what's a 'Bathurst SuperFest'?

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Roar Guru
1st November, 2023

The traditional mantra of sun, surf and Supercars on the Gold Coast at this time of year couldn’t have been any more truer as the championship put on a show in its penultimate round of the season.

There were a couple of last lap thrillers setting up a title deciding duel, the announcement of a Bathurst festival to start 2024 and plenty more – let’s dive into the talking points from the Gold Coast 500.

Waters wins for Ford, holds off SVG

A sensational Race 25 for the Supercars championship saw Cameron Waters take victory for Tickford ahead of Shane van Gisbergen, in an intense battle with the Kiwi which saw a margin of 0.194-seconds at the chequered flag.

In what was only the third win for the Gen3 Ford Mustang, which had undertaken parity adjustments leading into the Gold Coast 500, Waters nailed a stunning lap in the Top-Ten Shootout for pole before holding off old foe van Gisbergen for the win.

Cameron Waters during practice for the Bathurst 1000.

Cameron Waters driving on Mount Panorama. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

The reigning champion attempted a move into Turn 4 on the final lap, before the Monster Energy Mustang aced the beach chicane to create the margin he needed to negate an assault between Turns 11 and 14.


It was a crucial result as well for van Gisbergen in terms of the championship, as he reduced the gap to leader Brodie Kostecki – with only a 104-point margin at the end of Saturday. The Coca-Cola Camaro racer qualified tenth after an error in the Shootout and then raced to fifth – avoiding penalty for a clash with Tim Slade on the opening lap, which put the latter into the Turn 2 barriers.

Waters at the start led away from rookie Matt Payne, who put his Penrite Mustang on the front-row. Van Gisbergen made a slow start and slipped to fifth from third. A flurry of bad sportsmanship flags and subsequent 5-second time penalties were also dished out for track limits infringements.

Payne was hit with a 5-second time penalty for a moment on Lap 36 with James Courtney at the beach chicane. Neither driver wanted to yield going through the sequence of corners, thus the rookie slapped for failing to comply with the 150m Turn 6 procedure.

Penrite Racing teammate David Reynolds was also dancing on the edge of a penalty, after he received a bad sportsmanship flag on Lap 50 – though survived en route to a podium following a difficult enduro campaign.

Reynolds outlasts Kostecki in another last lap thriller

2017 Bathurst 1000 winner Reynolds broke his five-year win drought with victory on the streets of Gold Coast in Race 26, outlasting championship leader and polesitter Kostecki on the final lap.

It also marks the first win for Grove Racing in Supercars, since completing a full takeover from the Kelly family ahead of the 2022 season. As Kelly Grove Racing, the team’s last win came at The Bend in 2021 courtesy of Andre Heimgartner.


Coming into the final pit-stops of the 85-lap contest, Reynolds was able to overcut Kostecki only needing a shorter fill of fuel. A small margin separated the pair with 26-laps to go, as the Coca-Cola Camaro began to pressure to Penrite Mustang.

David Reynolds

David Reynolds. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Reynolds then lost the lead with 14 laps in hand as Kostecki muscled his way to be alongside at the Turn 4 hairpin. The pair then ran side-by-side before the Penrite Mustang yielded at the beach chicane.

Two laps later and with added encouragement on the radio from engineer Alistair McVean, Reynolds pounced back as Kostecki went wide into Turn 11. There was a Safety Car to neutralise the field, after Scott Pye broke his steering upon contact with James Golding coming out of the first chicane.

The four-lap dash to the end saw Reynolds outlast Kostecki and manage to avoid any sanctions for skipping over the chicanes on multiple occasions while under pressure from the car behind.

Waters secured third for consecutive trips to the podium and complimenting his win on Saturday in Race 25.

And then there were two


It was clear after the Bathurst 1000 that there were only two contenders left in the championship race and that was made clearer by the end of the Gold Coast 500 with Kostecki and van Gisbergen separated by 131-points.

Broc Feeney’s misfortune at Mount Panorama was a hammer-blow to his title prospects, as was the case for Will Brown since The Bend – despite the Coca-Cola Camaro racer having been Kostecki’s chief rival for most of the season.

Fifth and second for Kostecki ensured that he maintained the margin he had coming into the Gold Coast, while van Gisbergen mirrored those results in reverse.

Heading into the season finale at the Adelaide 500, there couldn’t be any other event to oversee a title decider. Particularly since Adelaide traditionally was the Formula One finale between 1985 and 1995. Like the Gold Coast, it is a gruelling street circuit and unforgiving in nature.

Shane Van Gisbergen is off to NASCAR next year. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Kostecki has been the form driver throughout the season, with six wins compared to van Gisbergen’s five. In the team’s championship as well, there is 140-points between Erebus who chase their maiden title and the juggernauts in Triple Eight.

The Kiwi has had well documented troubles with the Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and hasn’t always felt comfortable in his car – though come the pointy end of the season, is finding the results as he did with winning Bathurst.


Mostert signs on, Courtney to BRT

Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert has signed a fresh long-term deal to stay at Walkinshaw Andretti United, the team the 31-year old has been at since 2020 after six-years at Tickford.

There are no specific details about the length of the deal, however it shows the faith in both parties as they both continue to seek championship glory. Mostert in 2024 will be partnered with Super2 gun Ryan Wood.

Elsewhere in the Supercars silly season, James Courtney’s future was at last confirmed ahead of the Gold Coast 500 – with the announcement that he’ll be in one of two Blanchard Racing Mustangs alongside rookie Aaron Love.

2010 Supercars champion Courtney will also have Snowy Rivers Caravans as his backer aboard the #7 Mustang, carrying over the popular partnership formed at Tickford back in the previous season.

These announcements have left only what are considered formalities, with the two Tickford seats and the roster of Brad Jones Racing drivers. Waters and Randle are the expected duo for the Campbellfield Ford squad, while BJR should retain the same lineup – pending the usual annual review from the Smith family in regards to their TRC.

A Bathurst SuperFest?


Yes, you heard that correctly. Rumours of a ten-day motorsport bonanza at the famed Mount Panorama next February for the Bathurst 12 Hour and first round of the 2024 Supercars championship have indeed come to fruition, with the announcement of the Bathurst SuperFest.

Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander celebrate.

Who’s ready for 10 days at Bathurst?(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Speculation swirled around the uncertainty of the Newcastle 500, that if the incumbent season opener was axed that Supercars would look to Bathurst as it did in 2021 to start the 2024 championship.

Indeed, the Newcastle Council announced their event would not take place and as Supercars per their contact with the New South Wales government are required to hold the opening round of their series in NSW – Bathurst was the only rational choice. And given too that Supercars own the 12 Hour.

In addition to the GT3 jewel that is the 12 Hour which will be February 16-18, the Bathurst 500 will take place on February 23-25 which is the following weekend – aimed to treat motorsport fans with ten days at one of the best circuits in the world.

As an avid supporter of the 12 Hour for many years, the hope is that the addition of Supercars so close to it, doesn’t bring with it the baggage of the touring car series. For example, 12 Hour is one of the most accessible racing events in Australia and quite reasonably priced ticket-wise considering the depth of international drivers and manufacturers that are in attendance.

But for sure, for fans all-round it will be a treat to have both events as close to each other as possible. In addition to this news, there was confirmation too that July 5-7 will see the 15th running of the Townsville 500 and the 30th anniversary of the Gold Coast event will be on October 25-27.