De Pasquale beats Whincup to Race 29 pole at SMP

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale claimed pole position for Race 29 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, beating Jamie Whincup by 0.2116s in the Top 10 Shootout.

De Pasquale’s 1:30.4532s was more than a second slower than the time he set to provisionally qualify on pole earlier in the day, and he was not alone in struggling for pace during the one-lap dash at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) gave the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver a stern challenge, wheeling his Red Bull Ampol Racing entry to a 1:30.6648s which was almost six tenths up on the rest with just two drivers to come, despite a small slide off Turn 6.

Shane van Gisbergen was next and could not beat his team-mate, nor Will Davison in the other Dick Johnson Racing Mustang, meaning he would start no higher than third in a race in which he has a chance of sealing the championship.

De Pasquale was last onto the track for his lap and went marginally slower to the first sector, then quicker to the second sector by less than a tenth of a second, before coming home strong to clock a 1:30.4532s in the #11 Mustang.

Row 2 will be the same in so much that a DJR entry will be to the inside of one from Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Davison (#17 Mustang) missed the apex at Moffat Corner and also at the Turn 8 hairpin but still achieved a 1:31.2645s, while van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) had a moment on the rears into Turn 6 on his way to a 1:31.2739s.

The former had been investigated for alleged impeding of Cameron Waters in qualifying, but officials advised just before the shootout started no further action will be taken over that matter.

Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) set a 1:31.3193s and will share Row 3 with Brad Jones Racing’s Todd Hazelwood (#14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore), who used roaded tyres in clocking a 1:31.5810s.

Another BJR car will start seventh, namely Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) courtesy of his 1:31.7658s, with Tickford Racing’s Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) on his outside off the back of a 1:31.8290s.

Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) qualified ninth on a 1:31.9658s, the Tickford driver’s struggle for grip evidenced by a big slide off Turn 05.

The session was run largely in overcast conditions although shifting cloud created intrigue.

Team 18’s Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) was seemingly out of luck in that regard, dropping from a provisional seventh to 10th all-told after setting a 1:32.1144s which coincided with a sunnier period in Western Sydney.

The weather was a point picked up on by De Pasquale, who commented post-session, “I was very happy I wasn’t one of the first ones out because it looked like hard work.

“Obviously the track was a big difference to what we had in quali. I got to watch the first few and sort of adjust the driving and then try to get a lap, but it was all good.”

The form man at Sydney Motorsport Park also admitted that he had to be on song to usurp Whincup.

“It looked like the track was a good second-and-a-half off, so basically just drive to that, feel out the first few corners and go from there,” recounted De Pasquale.

“Just try not to make a mistake because our car has been really good.

“I think Jamie laid a really good lap time down so I had to push quite hard but obviously with those conditions, so quickly you’re loose and having a moment, so just trying to manage all that.”

The threat of rain remains for Race 29 of the season, a 64-lapper which is set to start at 19:10 local time/AEDT.

Results: Top 10 Shootout for Race 29, Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:30.4532  
2 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.6648 0:00.2116
3 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:31.2645 0:00.8113
4 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.2739 0:00.8207
5 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.3193 0:00.8661
6 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.5810 0:01.1278
7 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.7658 0:01.3126
8 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:31.8290 0:01.3758
9 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:31.9658 0:01.5126
10 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:32.1144 0:01.6612

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