De Pasquale fastest again in night practice at SMP

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has continued to set the pace at the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight, topping the night-time practice session by another healthy margin.

Having been more than three tenths up on the Repco Supercars Championship field when Practice 1 was held in the afternoon, De Pasquale clocked a 1:28.8064s which was best by almost a quarter of a second under lights at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Behind the #11 Shell V-Power Racing Team entry on the Practice 2 timesheet was Red Bull Ampol Racing duo Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in second- and third-fastest respectively.

With the ambient temperature having dropped several degrees since the opening hit-out, Nick Percat immediately bettered De Pasquale’s earlier benchmark when he clocked a 1:29.6312s in the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore.

Triple Eight Race Engineering hit back when Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) went for their second runs, the former going to a 1:29.5914s, only to be topped moments later by the latter’s 1:29.4490s.

Chaz Mostert split them just beyond the halfway mark with a 1:29.5117s in the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore, and that was how the top three stayed until the late-session qualifying simulations.

That was when Whincup went quickest with a 1:29.0415s, while van Gisbergen improved his time to a 1:29.3812s.

The chequered flag followed, but De Pasquale was still on a hot lap and broke them beam at a time of 1:28.8064s with the fastest first and second sectors around ‘Eastern Creek’.

“They don’t hand out trophies for Friday practice,” quipped the Dick Johnson Racing driver.

“We obviously learnt a lot about the car and what we need to do but tomorrow it looks like the weather is going to change up a fair bit – degrees and wind and stuff that makes the car handle different.

“So, we’ll learn and understand what changes did what.

“Obviously it is going to be tight tomorrow, we know that, so we’ll figure something out… but so far, so good.

“Three months on the bench so to roll out and drive a car again is fun; to be fastest is even better.”

As to the chunky time gain from Practice 1 to Practice 2, De Pasquale remarked, “I ran a new tyre in both of them and it was almost a second-and-a-half [difference].

“You just get more grip, more grip, more confidence, more confidence, faster and faster.

“You sort of don’t feel like you’re going any faster; you’re going as fast as you can all the time, just the track responds.

“But as it gets darker too, obviously the track drops a bit of degrees and we go faster, and you feel like you’re flying in the night, so it’s all good.”

Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki ended up fourth with a 1:29.3957s in the #99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore, and Percat fifth with a 1:29.4446s.

Mostert wound up sixth, finishing his session with a wild, partially offroad moment exiting the final corner, with the top 10 rounded out by Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), Todd Hazelwood (#14 Dunlop Super Dealer ZB Commodore), Will Brown (#9 WD-40 ZB Commodore), and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Oil Mustang).

Tickford Racing’s three drivers each racked up initial runs of 12 to 13 laps before Cameron Waters set a 1:29.7680s which was good enough for 11th in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.

Qualifying for Race 20 starts tomorrow at 15:35 local time/AEDT, followed by a Top 10 Shootout later in the afternoon.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:28.8064
2 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.0415 0:00.2351
3 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.3812 0:00.5748
4 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.3957 0:00.5893
5 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.4446 0:00.6382
6 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.5117 0:00.7053
7 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.6169 0:00.8105
8 14 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.6615 0:00.8551
9 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.7362 0:00.9298
10 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:29.7393 0:00.9392
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:29.7680 0:00.9616
12 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.9237 0:01.1173
13 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.9334 0:01.1270
14 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.9634 0:01.1570
15 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:30.0116 0:01.2052
16 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.0590 0:01.2526
17 3 Dayco Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:30.2626 0:01.4562
18 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:30.3352 0:01.5288
19 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:30.4013 0:01.5949
20 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.4536 0:01.6472
21 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.5428 0:01.7364
22 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:30.7665 0:01.9601
23 22 PremiAir Hire Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.9164 0:02.1100
24 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.6012 0:02.7948

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

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