De Pasquale eager to work with ‘industry best’ Lacroix
Sunday 31st January, 2021 - 6:00am
Shell V-Power Racing Team recruit Anton De Pasquale says he’s eager to begin working and “go far” with leading Supercars engineer Ludo Lacroix.
Lacroix was part of Triple Eight Race Engineering’s success throughout the mid-2000s and 2010s before joining the team formerly known as DJR Team Penske in 2017.
Lacroix worked alongside Scott McLaughlin as his engineer for two years, the pair finishing runner-up in 2017 and then winning the Supercars Championship in 2018.
The Frenchman balanced his new competition director role with broader engineering duties throughout 2019 and ’20, but stepped back from specifically race engineering, a role Richard Harris would take.
Now Lacroix is set to return to a race engineer role alongside De Pasquale while Harris works with Dick Johnson Racing team-mate Will Davison.
De Pasquale comes to the Stapylton-based team after three years with Erebus Motorsport in which he finished 20th, 14th, and eighth in his three seasons to date.
The opportunity to join established engineer Lacroix is one that De Pasquale is keen to make the most of in his personal development.
“He’s obviously he’s been beside Scotty this whole time and they’ve achieved amazing things together,” De Pasquale told Speedcafe.com
“Obviously, previous to that, everywhere he’s been, he’s had a winning environment and made things happen.
“So it’d be cool to be able to work with the best in the industry and see how it all happens and learn, then on top of that, obviously progress myself and make myself better.
“He’s the guy obviously known for doing that so it’s going to be really cool. I’ve just got to open my ears, be like a sponge, and then do what he says.
“Hopefully we go far at the end of that.”
De Pasquale said has been buoyed by his early interactions with the outfit, which has won three of the last four teams’ championships and the last three drivers’ championships.
Despite losing an alliance with North American racing powerhouse Team Penske, much of the ethos and ethic has remained at Dick Johnson Racing.
The 25-year-old said he has begun to understand why the team has been so successful in recent years.
“You obviously see the organisation from the outside and you know how successful they are,” he said.
“You’re not really too sure why, you kind of just know they’ve got good drivers, got good cars, they get good results.
“Once you’re involved in there, sort of see how it all works and meet everyone and get to know everyone, understand their roles and stuff like that, you sort of see how structured it is and how they do manage to go so well.
“Just embedding myself into that has been a little bit different to where I’ve come from. So just getting used to all the people, getting used to the staff who’ll be working with me for the next period of my career. So it’s really exciting to see. It’s a cool period of time.”
DJR will only be the second team that De Pasquale has raced for in the Repco Supercars Championship.
The Werribee South-born driver said he hasn’t found the transition between teams overly challenging.
“Everyone within motorsport that I’ve met, most of the people are really cool people,” he explained.
“Everyone’s a racer, everyone loves the sport and generally, everyone’s a good person. So that carries over through, I think, all the teams.
“You become mates with everyone so quickly. Everyone’s really welcoming the first few days there.
“Obviously, you sort of know everyone. You’ve seen them around the track and all that kind of thing. But you don’t know everyone personally.
“Getting to know everyone’s always an interesting thing. But it’s very, very easy, everyone’s super easygoing, super welcoming and it’s a really cool place, a really good environment.”
De Pasquale will have his first hit-out with DJR at Queensland Raceway on February 12 as part of the split official pre-season test.