De Pasquale takes lap-record Darwin Supercars pole

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has broken the Hidden Valley practice/qualifying lap record to take pole position for Race 12 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

In a knockout session decided by a Top 10 Shootout, De Pasquale was only a provisional sixth after the first two parts of qualifying and made an error at the Turn 6 hairpin during the one-lap dash.

However, he was quickest in the first sector and particularly rapid in the third, driving the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang to a 1:05.2904s which beat Dick Johnson Racing predecessor Scott McLaughlin’s two-year-old benchmark by almost two tenths of a second.

Also on the front row after the first ever qualifying session on the new super soft tyre will be Team 18’s Mark Winterbottom, who looked on to beat De Pasquale given his cleaner run through ‘the valley’.


However, he kicked up the dirt exiting Turn 11 and ultimately achieved a 1:05.4054s in the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore to take second spot, a gain of two positions and also under the old McLaughlin record.

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen was last out for the shootout and put the #97 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore third on the grid with a 1:05.5041s.

Van Gisbergen had followed Scott Pye, who made it two Team 18 entries on the first two rows with a 1:05.5943s in the #20 DeWalt ZB Commodore.

All of that meant that De Pasquale takes a third pole of his Supercars Championship career, which happens to also be his third in a row.

“I said to the boys when I came in, I think the lap was pretty good other than one mistake which was looking like enough to lose it,” said the DJR pilot.

“Obviously, the thing was a rocketship and I sort of just held on for the rest of the lap. Good to get three in a row and we’ll try to convert this afternoon.”

Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) was a provisional eighth on his way into the one-lap dash but moved up three positions thanks to a 1:05.6304s.

Jamie Whincup was next onto the track and while he went almost two tenths faster than Percat to the first sector, he ran wide at Turn 6 then lost more time in Sector 3.

The seven-time champion stopped the clocks at a 1:05.7089s which puts the #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore sixth on the grid.

Sharing Row 4 will be Cameron Waters in seventh and Chaz Mostert in eighth, both of whom only had used tyres after going for two runs in Part 2 of qualifying.

The former set a 1:05.8305s in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang and the latter a 1:05.9902s in the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore.

Rounding out the top 10 were Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), who clocked a 1:06.0703s, and Zane Goddard (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore), who set a 1:06.2167s on the first lap of the shootout.

While De Pasquale’s lap time was impressive, it was a continuation of the escalating pace in Part 2 of qualifying, when Pye went to a 1:05.5296s in the bunch of nine which went out initially.

The top four of those lapped faster than Whincup had done in topping Practice 2 on the afternoon prior, before van Gisbergen took over the ascendancy with a 1:05.5079s in the latter half of the 10-minute stanza.

He would remain fastest while Jake Kostecki (#34 Unit ZB Commodore), who was quickest through Part 1 having used two sets of tyres, ended up 11th.

Next to the Matt Stone Racing driver on the grid will be Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), with Row 7 shared by Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) and Fabian Coulthard (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore).

The rest of the top 20 was Kurt Kostecki (#27 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore), Todd Hazelwood (#14 Pizza Hut ZB Commodore), Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Mustang), Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore), Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore), and Garry Jacobson (#22 PremiAir Hire ZB Commodore).

While Jake Kostecki being fastest in Part 1 of the session on a 1:06.0693s might have been something of a surprise, the list of names in the sextet which missed the cut was full of shocks.

James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) was bumped out by Fullwood right at the end and the 2010 champion will start 21st, alongside Will Brown (#9 Ozland Group Solutions ZB Commodore).

Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) ended up 23rd, ahead of Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang), and Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang).

Race 12 of the season, a 38-lapper, is officially due for a start at 15:25 local time/15:55 AEST.

Results: Qualifying for Race 12, Merlin Darwin Triple Crown

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:05.2904  
2 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.4054 0:00.1150
3 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.5041 0:00.2137
4 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.5943 0:00.3039
5 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.6304 0:00.3400
6 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.7089 0:00.4185
7 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:05.8305 0:00.5401
8 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.9902 0:00.6998
9 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:06.0703 0:00.7799
10 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.2167 0:00.9263
11 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.9231 Part 2
12 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.9784 Part 2
13 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1546 Part 2
14 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1699 Part 2
15 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.2374 Part 2
16 14 Pizza Hut Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.2603 Part 2
17 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:06.2719 Part 2
18 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.2901 Part 2
19 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3033 Part 2
20 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5406 Part 2
21 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:06.6914 Part 1
22 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.8396 Part 1
23 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:06.8889 Part 1
24 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:06.9059 Part 1
25 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:06.9141 Part 1
26 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:06.9896 Part 1

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