Charlie Schwerkolt Racing has been forced to make a sudden change of plans ahead of the Townsville 400 Supercars Championship round and will instead field teenage driver Kurt Kostecki instead of Karl Reindler as replacement for injured driver Lee Holdsworth.
The team had planned to field Reindler in its repaired Holden Commodore chassis – badly damaged in the first-lap crash at Darwin which left Holdsworth with a fractured pelvis – but was unable to complete the repairs in time for the Townsville event.
With the championship rules requiring the team to enter a car at each round of the championship to avoid its Racing Entitlements Contract being revoked, the team has instead cut a deal with Kostecki to lease his car, which he currently competes in the Dunlop Series feeder championship.
The 17-year-old will compete at the upcoming Townsville and Queensland Raceway events, giving the team enough time to have a new chassis readied for the following Sydney Motorsport Park round in August, when it hopes Holdsworth will be fit enough to return to driving duties.
“The Kostecki family were kind enough to pull young Kurt out of the DVS (Dunlop Series) game and pull him up to the main game to race under our banner for the next two races,” team owner Charlie Schwerkolt said.
“I must thank Karl for stepping aside to allow this to happen, there was just no cars available that we could lease anywhere and we are still excited to have him as our co-driver for the enduros and to get him some laps at Ipswich.”
Kostecki, who is currently placed eleventh overall in the Dunlop Series standings, was understandably thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in the top-tier championship.
“It will be a big learning experience and a big step in my career,” he added.
“It will be good to learn really early what I need to work on and improve before I head up into the main game in a couple years time.”
The news is a disappointment for Reindler, who found himself bumped at the eleventh hour for the second time in less than a year. The West Australian was slated to substitute for the unwell Nick Percat at LD Motorsport at Phillip Island last year, only for Paul Dumbrell to get the nod instead.
“Obviously I was looking forward to getting some laps prior to Sandown, but with no available chassis other than Kurt’s I can understand his desire to run in his own car,” a magnanimous Reindler said.
“My focus is still the Enduros, so we’ll get Lee back in the seat as soon as possible and have a good crack come September/October.”
Image via Motorsport.com
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