The Motorsport Australia gala represents the 26-year-old's first public appearance since confirmation he will sit out the 2024 Supercars season-opener, after news of an apparent rift with Erebus Motorsport was revealed by Speedcafe.
In an earlier speech, when he was acknowledged for his 2023 Australian Touring Car Championship (Supercars Championship) triumph, Kostecki affirmed that he is in “generally good health,” even if he is “unsure what the immediate future holds.”
Now, he has a little more silverware in the form of the prestigious Peter Brock Medal, which he accepted with the following speech:
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“I'm truly honoured to receive the Peter Brock Medal, and I want to thank the voting panel and the Brock family in particular for this privilege.
“This award was created with the intent to help promote the ideals and passions that helped make Peter Brock a legendary household name in this country.
“While we all know how good he was as a race car driver, my understanding is that this award was created to highlight ‘Brocky's' passion for the sport, his camaraderie for his fellow competitors and his unwavering relationship with the fans.
“When you understand those criteria, it takes the meaning of winning this award to a whole new level.
“From the earliest age, I have been passionate, some would call it even obsessed, about racing.
“I devoted every waking minute to becoming the best racer I could be.
“Reading race car books, practicing on simulators and working and racing my own cars.
“I didn't have set goals or trophies that I particularly wanted to win. I just wanted to be a racer, work as hard as I possibly could and hope everything was rewarded in the end.
“The people that are closest to me know that I'm full throttle 100 percent of the time, always trying to be well ahead of the curve.
“Tonight, as I stand here, I realise how important it is to now pause and reflect on the journey.
“Sometimes, in the pursuit of our goals, we forget to appreciate the little things or make choices or even surround ourselves with people that affect our path, goals or dreams that we've devoted our whole life to set out and achieve.
“I'm truly thankful for the support and advice I have received from so many people, team members and sponsors along the way.
“Motorsport is not just about driving a car fast; it's about learning from others, giving back to the racing community and being a positive influence for the sport. I guess Brocky and so many other legends of the sport taught us that with their own actions.
“It is also about standing up for what you believe in, just like many have done before me.
“It wasn't that long ago I was couch surfing and using garbage bags filled with my clothes as pillows.
“Then Paul ‘The Dude' Morris took me in, started feeding me turkey mince or porridge for breakfast and began to constantly tell me to ‘slow down.' Not in a race car sense, but in a life sense.
“Fast forward three years and I stand here tonight, honoured to receive this award and proud of myself for never giving up or losing sight of what is possible.
“It is quite ironic that I am here tonight, on the same table as ‘The Dude' who will be receiving his Motorsport Australia Life Membership award – an award which is not presented lightly, but I could not think of a more worthy recipient.
“Thank you all for being a part of this incredible journey and I look forward to being a contributor to Australian motorsport, on and off the track for many more years to come.
“I look forward to what the future holds.”
Kostecki is becoming a regular on-stage, having been voted Drivers' Driver as part of Supercars' Gala Awards at the conclusion of his title-winning season, and was recently announced as a nominee for the Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year.
His latest gong, the Peter Brock Medal, is awarded on the following basis:
To a driver who has shown similar characteristics to the late Peter Brock AM.
The award recognises outstanding driver ability and commitment to the positive endorsement of motorsport within the greater community.
It was instituted in 2011 and has previously been bestowed upon the following individuals:
2022: Thomas Randle
2021: Toby Price OAM
2020: Alex Peroni
2019: Harry Bates
2018: Anton De Pasquale
2017: Will Brown
2016: Mark Webber AO
2015: Molly Taylor
2014: Jim Richards
2013: Neal Bates
2012: Craig Lowndes OAM
2011: Jason Richards