Brown takes big win and championship lead in Townsville
It is Brown's fourth race win of 2023 and fifth of his career. It was also his Erebus team's first ever win in North Queensland (14th ever win for Erebus) and 6th race win of 2023.
The result puts the 25-year old Toowoomba native atop the championship standings after mechanical issues plagued team mate Brodie Kostecki (No. 99 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Camaro), who had led the championship since Race 6 at Melbourne in April.
Second was another youngster who continues to climb through the ranks, Red Bull Camaro's Broc Feeney, while rounding out the podium was Ford's best in 2023, Chaz Mostert.
Defending Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen, who famously won his NASACR debut in Chicago on Monday morning (AEST) finished fourth in the Championship, 110 points behind new leader Brown.
"88 laps around here is a long time, but felt good in there, the car was mega quick on old tyres," Brown said.
"I knew in that first stint, I had really good tyre life and used that to my advantage.
"It's pretty awesome to be nearly halfway through the season and have orange numbers on tomorrow."
The race's lone Safety Car, on Lap 69 for the stopped car of Todd Hazelwood (No. 3 CoolDrive Ford Mustang), packed up the field for a restart with 16 laps to go. Despite intense pressure from Broc Feeney (No. 88 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet Camaro) and others, Brown was able to drive away in the race's closing laps to claim victory by 3.3 seconds over Triple Eight's Feeney.
After starting an equal season worst 15th in today's race, Kostecki lost use of first and second gear mid-way through the race, affecting his ability to accelerate and therefore his overall performance for the remainder of the race, ultimately finishing 19th.
Feeney's result is his sixth consecutive podium finish and 9th from 16 races in 2023, and although he remains third in the championship, now sits one point behind Kostecki and 44 from championship leader Brown.
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The only leading car to attempt a three-stop strategy, Walkinshaw Andretti United's Chaz Mostert (No. 25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford Mustang) used that late Safety Car to climb to third at the chequered flag, his first podium since the season opening event in Newcastle.
Reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen (No. 97 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet) passed Ford's Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) in the closing laps for fourth place, with the Kiwi just leading home Mildura-native Waters.
The Repco Supercars Championship returns to action Sunday morning with ARMORALL qualifying for Race 17 from 10:00am AEST, the ARMORALL Top Ten Shootout at 12:00pm, and another 250-kilometre, 88-lap race beginning at 2:40pm.
Live coverage of the NTI Townsville 500 can be found on Seven and Foxtel, with streaming available on 7plus and Kayo.