Jake Kostecki will return to Supercars for this year's endurance races with the Blanchard Racing Team (BRT) as the Box Hill-based outfit finalises its 2023 driver line-up.
While Todd Hazelwood will drive the #3 Mustang with Team Principal Tim Blanchard, Kostecki will pair up with fellow Perth racer, Aaron Love, for the second BRT entry at the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.
“We are excited to give Aaron his first opportunity in the main series and welcome Jake to BRT. Both are young guys wanting to make an impression and we are keen to support young drivers by giving them the opportunity,” said Blanchard.
It will be 23-year-old Kostecki's first competitive drive since being dropped by Tickford Racing at the end of 2022.
“I'm pretty excited,” Kostecki told Speedcafe. “I've taken a good break up from the sport and just sort of been focusing on other things like work. I have definitely missed racing – the only thing I've been thinking about is being a race car driver.”
“Me and Aaron grew up pretty close – I met him when I was probably eight,” Kostecki said.
“We've been pretty close friends since then – like we've got the same friendship group, both being born in Perth.
“I'm looking forward to working with Aaron. He's done a mega job in the Carrera Cup, and also he's finding his feet pretty well in Super2. So looking forward to working with him and having some fun with it, too, and trying to get some awesome results as a wildcard.
Kostecki first drove in the top-tier category in 2019 ahead of two full-time seasons with Matt Stone Racing.
He then switched to Tickford where he campaigned the fourth Gen2 Mustang in the Campbellfield team's stable where he finished only two points behind then team-mate, Thomas Randle.
The 2022 Super2 Series winner Declan Fraser was the beneficiary of his sacking, now driving the #56 Tradie Mustang.
Since his departure from Tickford, Kostecki has begun an apprenticeship as a boiler maker, and is also completing a business diploma.
“It's good – it's given me a good break from the sport. And to be honest, I'm just sick of all the bullshit on the politics side of the sport [that] last year got so toxic – a few people in the category.
“Now that I've had a good break for it, and sometimes when I watch it on TV, there's still quite a bit of whinging going on and all that, so I don't miss that stuff. But I definitely have missed racing.”