De Pasquale delivers Ford’s 400th ATCC race win

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has achieved his first victory for the Shell V-Power Racing Team, and a milestone for Ford, in Race 10 of the Repco Supercars Championship at The Bend.

The 25-year-old virtually led all 24 laps while Will Davison saw off a late challenge from Shane van Gisbergen to make it a one-two for the Dick Johnson Racing Mustangs in what was the 400th race win in the Australian Touring Car Championship for the Blue Oval.

While van Gisbergen could not find a way through on #17, third represented a gain of 10 positions relative to where he started, in a race where trouble struck his key championship rivals.

Red Bull Ampol Racing team-mate Jamie Whincup could only lift himself to 11th from 15th on the grid while neither Chaz Mostert nor Cameron Waters finished after they yet again came together, in opening lap carnage.

Van Gisbergen’s championship lead is therefore 178 points over Whincup, with one race to come this weekend at the OTR SuperSprint.

DJR had locked out the front row and while Davison made a slightly better start, it was pole-sitter De Pasquale in the #11 Mustang who led through the first corner thanks to having the inside line.

Mayhem unfolded just behind them when Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) went down the inside of Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) at the Turn 5 sweeper.

Slade skewed sideways on the dirt and as Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Mostert moved left to avoid him, there was heavy contact with Tickford Racing’s Waters.

That not only sent Waters spinning but also caused significant damage for both, and neither WAU could repair the #25 Mobil 1 Appliance Online ZB Commodore nor Tickford the #6 Monster Energy Mustang in time to salvage any points.

Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore) also experienced a whack in a melee which continued when his Brad Jones Racing team-mate Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) was turned around at Turn 6.

That was due to a touch from David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), who had Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) down his inside, although stewards would opt to take no action over the incidents.

Heimgartner emerged in third from the drama, ahead of James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), Brodie Kostecki, and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore).

Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) was 17th at the end of the first lap and Slade 19th due to being carted wide also by Waters’ spin.

De Pasquale’s lead was almost two seconds at the start of Lap 3 when he locked up and ran off the race track at Turn 1, barely holding on to first position.

Courtney, who had briefly got ahead of Heimgartner, pitted from fourth when the window opened at the end of Lap 5, and was followed into the lane by Brodie Kostecki from fifth.

De Pasquale was back to an advantage of around 0.9s when he stopped for green working side tyres on Lap 6, while Heimgartner lost time when he stalled exiting his box a lap later.

Davison peeled off on Lap 10 and also had working side tyres changed, although some slow service on the front corner meant he merged behind Courtney on the race track in what represented a change for the effective second position.

De Pasquale was coming under pressure from Courtney and Davison until the latter went underneath the #44 Mustang to reclaim what he lost in the lane on Lap 14 at Turn 6.

Van Gisbergen stayed out until he pitted from the official race lead on Lap 16 and, having taken a fresh set of rears, rejoined between Davison and Courtney in an effective third position.

When Percat took service on Lap 17, the order was cleansed, with De Pasquale leading by a touch over 0.6s over Davison, and more than two seconds to van Gisbergen.

Courtney was fourth, Brodie Kostecki fifth, and Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) passed Heimgartner up the main straight to take up sixth, while Whincup occupied 11th.

Davison chipped away at De Pasquale’s advantage for a period of time but soon had to worry about the looming threat of #97 in his mirrors.

Van Gisbergen got close but did not seriously shape for a move, while the heat came off De Pasquale.

The brand-new-for-2021 DJR driver took the chequered flag 0.9s ahead of Davison, who had van Gisbergen half a second further back.

“It’s cool,” said De Pasquale.

“We know how much that means to all the fans. We’ve got massive support behind me and Will.

“I’m loving that and loving racing for the Shell V-Power Racing guys. They’ve given me a good car. We’ve got a one-two. It’s pretty cool. It’s a cool day.”

Regarding the lock-up, he said, “It shows how hard we’re all pushing. These things are pretty hard to drive.

“This morning, we’ve got green tyres, a cool track, it all feels good. Then this arvo it’s a bit warmer, a bit looser. Makes us work hard for it.

“But it’s cool. We brought it home. It’s good.”

Courtney was another five seconds away from the podium in fourth spot, ahead of Brodie Kostecki, Fullwood, Heimgartner, Tickford wildcard Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang), and Team 18 duo Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore).

Whincup was close behind Pye in 11th, Slade finished 15th, and Percat got home in 17th.

Having incurred steering damage in the Lap 1 incident, Reynolds was last finisher, three laps down in 22nd.

Mostert set the fastest lap but scored no bonus points having not been classified as a finisher.

Race 11 is due for a start at 15:40 local time/16:10 AEST.

Results: Race 10, OTR SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 24 45:18.4389
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 24 45:19.3861
3 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:19.8722
4 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 24 45:24.8882
5 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:26.0825
6 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:26.6147
7 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 24 45:32.4330
8 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 24 45:32.8587
9 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:33.6527
10 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:35.6202
11 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:35.9567
12 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 24 45:41.1503
13 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:42.4637
14 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:43.3635
15 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 24 45:43.6006
16 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:43.9132
17 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:45.9176
18 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:46.7542
19 14 TRG Transport Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:56.7644
20 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 24 45:58.7565
21 4 SCT Motor Sports Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 24 46:10.8276
22 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 21 47:01.5620
NC 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 23 44:35.0904
NC 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 4 21:16.6266
NC 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1 2:08.0649
NC 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1 3:08.0879

Fastest lap (NC): Chaz Mostert 1:50.2192, Lap 3

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1020
2 Jamie Whincup 842
3 Chaz Mostert 792
4 Will Davison 775
5 Cameron Waters 743
6 Mark Winterbottom 663
7 Anton De Pasquale 648
8 Andre Heimgartner 594
9 Brodie Kostecki 567
10 Nick Percat 549
11 Scott Pye 524
12 William Brown 522
13 James Courtney 506
14 David Reynolds 500
15 Jack Le Brocq 490
16 Bryce Fullwood 485
17 Todd Hazelwood 467
18 Zane Goddard 414
19 Jake Kostecki 394
20 Tim Slade 346
21 Fabian Coulthard 298
22 Jack Smith 298
23 Garry Jacobson 285
24 Macauley Jones 252
25 Thomas Randle 96
26 Kurt Kostecki 70

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 1862
2 11 17 100 Dick Johnson Racing 1423
3 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 1277
4 6 44 Tickford Racing 1249
5 18 20 Team 18 1187
6 7 26 Kelly Grove Racing 1094
7 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 1089
8 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 1016
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 808
10 19 22 Team Sydney 583
11 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 550
12 5 Tickford Racing 490
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 346
14 55 Tickford Racing 96
15 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United 70

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]