De Pasquale beats van Gisbergen in Race 24 at SMP

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has beaten Shane van Gisbergen to victory in Race 24 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the Armor All Sydney SuperNight.

In a race of differing strategies, De Pasquale started on the soft tyre and switched to hards midway through, while van Gisbergen did the opposite.

However, the #11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang led from Lap 2 until the chequered flag flew after 32 laps around Sydney Motorsport Park, with the #97 Red Bull Ampol Racing ZB Commodore finishing 8.3039s back.

While one Triple Eight Race Engineering entry took second, the other was second-last in a race finished by all 26 drivers, after Jamie Whincup had to pit a second time due to a puncture.

Van Gisbergen’s championship lead has blown out to 418 points as a result, with Will Davison a further 71 points back after driving his own #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang to fourth, behind Tickford Racing’s James Courtney.

The ever-present threat of rain had seen several cars go to the starting grid on wets, and while all of those were changed to slicks before the start, there was still a roughly fifty-fifty split in choice of compound.

Aside from the divergence between pole-sitter De Pasquale and van Gisbergen on the front row, both of the Walkinshaw Andretti United drivers on Row 2 were on hards, but the next two rows all on softs.

Nevertheless, van Gisbergen led the field away and Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) jumped from fourth to second for the run to the first braking zone at Bond Bend.

There, De Pasquale and Fullwood made front-to-rear contact which saw Car #2 slip wide and Car #11 go on through to take over second position.

Van Gisbergen quickly skipped about seven tenths clear of the field despite the slower rubber, although De Pasquale unsurprisingly reeled him in and made the pass for the lead on Lap 2 at the Turn 8 hairpin.

The Dick Johnson Racing driver had pulled a gap of more than a second by the time he completed Lap 4, but van Gisbergen was still more than two seconds ahead of the man in third.

That was Andre Heimgartner, who had an advantage over #97 in so much that the #7 Ned Mustang was on soft tyres, but had come from eighth on the grid and passed three others who started on the same compound.

Heimgartner caught van Gisbergen on Lap 9 but instead of driving past the Triple Eight car, a queue formed behind him, with Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) holding fourth on soft tyres and Davison likewise in fifth.

Van Gisbergen had drifted almost eight seconds behind De Pasquale when he pitted on Lap 13, swapping hards for softs, including brand-new tyres on the working side of Car #97.

He resumed in 17th, but was first of those who had pitted, ahead of Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang), Fullwood, and Jamie Whincup (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore).

Le Brocq had gone from soft tyres to hard, while Fullwood and Whincup had both dropped into the bottom half of the field before switching from hards to softs.

Whincup cleared the #5 Mustang on Lap 15, but he was back into the pits just six laps later due to a left-rear puncture on the #88 ZB Commodore, and had to revert back to the hard compound.

Courtney and Davison took service on Lap 19, then Heimgartner on Lap 22, while De Pasquale went another lap longer before he peeled off.

The DJR crew fitted a new set of hards to Car #11, which rejoined the circuit with a margin of three seconds over van Gisbergen.

That halved on De Pasquale’s out lap but, amid a call to van Gisbergen from engineer David Cauchi to take “no risk”, the gap blew back out to more than five seconds on Lap 29.

Meanwhile, after the stops, it was Courtney running third from Davison, Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore), Will Brown (#9 Shaw and Partners ZB Commodore), Heimgartner, and WAU’s Chaz Mostert in eighth spot, the latter being second of those on softs.

De Pasquale continued to put space between himself and the #97 ZB Commodore which followed, and would go on to a third win in the last five races.

“I think we were blessed by the heavens with the rain holding off but our car was a jet so, good to show it,” said De Pasquale.

“We didn’t get to do it yesterday so good to get the one today. Everyone is working hard so one more tonight so we will try to do something with that, but stoked with that one.”

Van Gisbergen admitted he had not the pace of the #11 Mustang, saying, “We were probably better than I thought.

“I probably shouldn’t have let him go at the hairpin; I saw him nose so I let him go. Man, he’s on fire, he was driving really well, too fast for us.

“But that’s alright, we’ve got another one tonight, have another crack. It’s good points and can’t thank the team enough, the pit stop was great and it worked out well.”

Courtney finished a touch over seven seconds back from van Gisbergen, and just three tenths up on Davison, with Pye claiming fifth and Brown sixth.

Heimgartner survived heavy pressure from Mostert, and even a bad sportsmanship flag for driver conduct as he blocked the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore, to finish seventh.

Behind those two, Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) and Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10, ahead of Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore), Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang).

Fullwood ended up 16th, Whincup was last of those still on the lead lap in 25th, and Todd Hazelwood ended up a lap down in 26th after a power steering drama for the #14 Dunlop Super Dealer ZB Commodore).

Race 25 is scheduled to start at 19:30 local time/AEDT.

Results: Race 24, Armor All Sydney SuperNight

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Diff
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT
2 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB +8.304
3 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT +17.504
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT +17.824
5 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB +19.715
6 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB +23.602
7 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT +28.704
8 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB +30.044
9 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB +31.765
10 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB +32.112
11 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB +34.903
12 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT +35.620
13 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT +43.103
14 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB +43.574
15 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT +45.509
16 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB +51.195
17 26 Penrite Racing Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT +51.274
18 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT +52.974
19 27 Mobil 1 SP Tools Racing Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB +53.396
20 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB +59.439
21 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB +59.665
22 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB +1:01.027
23 22 PremiAir Hire Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB +1:05.212
24 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB +1:07.287
25 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB +1:21.205
26 14 Dunlop Super Dealer Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB +1 lap

Fastest lap (bonus): Chaz Mostert, 1:31.6538s, Lap 14

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 2390
2 Jamie Whincup 1972
3 Will Davison 1901
4 Chaz Mostert 1809
5 Cameron Waters 1774
6 Anton De Pasquale 1597
7 Nick Percat 1478
8 Mark Winterbottom 1358
9 William Brown 1338
10 James Courtney 1306
11 Brodie Kostecki 1262
12 Tim Slade 1198
13 Scott Pye 1171
14 Andre Heimgartner 1170
15 Todd Hazelwood 1136
16 Jack Le Brocq 1126
17 Bryce Fullwood 1113
18 David Reynolds 1072
19 Jake Kostecki 874
20 Zane Goddard 852
21 Jack Smith 734
22 Macauley Jones 704
23 Garry Jacobson 696
24 Fabian Coulthard 666
25 Thomas Randle 326
26 Kurt Kostecki 274
27 Luke Youlden 58

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 4362
2 11 17 (100) Dick Johnson Racing 3498
3 6 44 Tickford Racing 3080
4 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 2922
5 9 99 Erebus Motorsport 2600
6 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 2528
7 18 20 Team 18 2504
8 7 26 Kelly Grove Racing 2270
9 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 1726
10 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 1438
11 19 22 Team Sydney 1362
12 3 Blanchard Racing Team 1198
13 5 Tickford Racing 1126
14 55 Tickford Racing 326
15 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United 274

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