De Pasquale draws first blood in new Supercars season

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has has set the pace in Supercars Championship Practice 1 at the Superloop Adelaide 500 as Scott McLaughlin’s new Mustang caused one of three red flags.

McLaughlin was the only Ford driver to miss the top 10 after his Shell V-Power Racing entry threw off a power steering belt, while James Golding was the first to get snagged in the new Turn 7 tyre wall.

De Pasquale had 0.3003s on the field when the final laps were completed, with Lee Holdsworth a late mover to second in The Bottle-O Ford Mustang ahead of long-time fast man Fabian Coulthard in DJR Team Penske’s #12 Mustang.

The top four had been covered by less than a tenth of a second before De Pasquale moved his Penrite ZB Commodore up from seventh in the final minute with a 1:21.1628s.

He went even faster again with the chequered flag out, stopping the clocks at 1:20.8959s.

“It’s good to start the year off on a high; think it’s the first time I’ve topped a session too,” remarked De Pasquale.

“It’s for the boys and girls, heaps of confidence going into the rest of the season.

“Obviously it’s only early days so we don’t know what everybody else is doing, tyres, all that stuff. But it’s only first session of the year, good to start off on a high.”

Holdsworth denied Coulthard the second position he had just reclaimed from Mark Winterbottom (Irwin Racing ZB Commodore), who ended up fifth after also being bettered by David Reynolds (Erebus ZB Commodore) right at the end.

“I felt relieved to just get this drive in the first place,” said Holdsworth.

“We all came out of the test day pretty unhappy with the balance in the Mustang for the first day and we still ended up competitive.

“Then to come here and straight out the gate to be on the pace is really promising. I’m just enjoying myself.”

Cameron Waters was the last driver within half a second of De Pasquale in the Monster Energy Ford Mustang, while Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) was seventh after an excursion up the Wakefield Street run-off late in the piece.

Rounding out the top 10 were two more Mustang drivers in Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Racing) and Will Davison (Milwaukee Racing), and Scott Pye (Mobil 1 Mega Racing ZB Commodore).

McLaughlin came to a halt at the exit of Turn 11 in the 12th minute, drawing the second red flag.

The Kiwi reported a loss of oil pressure on team radio, although the team advised that the main issue was Car #17 throwing off a power steering belt.

“Our car felt really good, we were on a race run there, just having a bit of a fun time, Shell V-Power car felt good,” McLaughlin recounted.

“But we just had a little bit of a problem then, engine wise.

“(It was) was right up there too. Overall, I’m stoked, just need to work on it overnight.”

Golding skated into the tyre wall at the narrowed Turn 7 after five more minutes of green flag running following McLaughlin’s drama, although Garry Rogers Motorsport reported only cosmetic damage to the #34 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore.

An early red flag, coming before the entire field could notch up a timed lap, was reportedly called for debris although a medical crew was also seen circulating on the track even after all 24 cars had made it back to pit lane under their own steam.

Jamie Whincup finished the session 13th in the #88 Triple Eight ZB Commodore, while James Courtney was 17th having got back on track after electrical problems in the #22 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore.

Garry Jacobson (Rabble.Club Nissan Altima) was the best of the two rookies in 20th.

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Practice 2 takes place tomorrow from 1140 local time/1210 AEDT.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 99 Erebus Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.8959
2 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:21.1962 0:00.3003
3 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 1:21.2379 0:00.3420
4 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.3356 0:00.4397
5 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.3426 0:00.4467
6 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:21.3905 0:00.4946
7 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.5180 0:00.6221
8 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:21.5484 0:00.6525
9 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:21.5519 0:00.6560
10 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.5926 0:00.6967
11 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.6904 0:00.7945
12 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 1:21.7381 0:00.8422
13 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.8903 0:00.9944
14 35 Unit Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.9387 0:01.0428
15 19 Team TEKNO Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:21.9798 0:01.0839
16 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1:22.0687 0:01.1728
17 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1:22.1001 0:01.2042
18 8 Team National Pharmacies Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:22.1293 0:01.2334
19 33 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 1:22.1470 0:01.2511
20 3 Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 1:22.3979 0:01.5020
21 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:22.5965 0:01.7006
22 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:22.6085 0:01.7126
23 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:22.7663 0:01.8704
24 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:22.9936 0:02.0977

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