De Pasquale on provisional pole at SMP by half a second

Anton De Pasquale

Anton De Pasquale has qualified on provisional pole position for Race 29 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park by more than half a second.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver clocked a 1:29.2430s and would, as it stands, be joined on the front row by Red Bull Ampol Racing’s championship leader Shane van Gisbergen, with the latter’s team-mate Jamie Whincup third in Qualifying for Race 29.

Will Davison was fourth-quickest in the other Shell V-Power Mustang but faces an investigation for alleged impeding of Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters, who was last into this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

Notables to miss the top 10 were Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert in 12th and Erebus Motorsport’s last-start race winner Will Brown in 16th.

While rain fell as Practice 2 ended this morning, the track was dry again for the 15-minute hit-out which decided positions 11 to 24 on the grid for tonight’s 64-lapper.

Most rolled out on new hard slicks, the predominant compound this weekend, although Erebus’s Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) roaded wets on his first run.

Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) was fastest after the first flyers with a 1:30.4734s, from Brown (#9 Shaw And partners ZB Commodore) on a 1:30.5085s.

Once De Pasquale had set a representative time in the #11 Mustang, he had the quickest lap of the event so far with a 1:29.7566s, while Brodie Kostecki moved to second on a 1:30.0363s.

With the first runs done, they remained top two, from Davison (#17 Mustang), Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore), Todd Hazelwood (#14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore), and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) in sixth on a 1:30.3287s.

Team 18 went off-sequence for their final runs and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) temporarily held third on a 1:30.1033s.

When the rest went out for their last efforts, Davison improved to second-quickest on a 1:29.8103s before team-mate De Pasquale tightened his grip on provisional pole with a 1:29.2430s.

Whincup then moved to second on a 1:29.7590s but held it for just a moment before van Gisbergen broke the beam at 1:29.7441s.

That left a top five of De Pasquale, van Gisbergen, Whincup, Davison, and Brodie Kostecki, while Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) lifted himself from 16th to sixth on a 1:30.0827s, well after the chequered flag.

De Pasquale was fastest in Practice 1 and Practice 2 but did not expect to prevail by such a large, 0.5011s margin in Qualifying for Race 29.

“Not really,” said the Dick Johnson Racing driver.

“We’ve done sort of high-29s and the track is pretty similar, so it just hooked up pretty good on that last set.

“Tyre grip is up, you just feed it a bit more gas and it rolls a bit of speed and the time comes.”

As for the weather which might arrive for the shootout, he added, “It looks like it could rain so that’s a bit of a lottery if it does.

“But oh well, we’re in the top 10, we’re going to put on a good show either way and try to do a good lap in the shootout depending on the weather, and have a good race.”

Pye ended up seventh, from Tickford’s Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang), Hazelwood, and Waters, with Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) bumped out of the one-lap dash by Percat’s effort.

Slade will be joined on Row 6 by Mostert, who drove the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore to a personal best of 1:30.2890s.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) qualified 13th on a 1:30.3039s and Brown 16th on a 1:30.4399s.

The Top 10 Shootout is scheduled for 16:35 local time/AEDT.

Results: Qualifying 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 1:29.2430
2 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.7441 0:00.5011
3 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.7590 0:00.5160
4 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:29.8103 0:00.5673
5 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.0363 0:00.7933
6 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.0827 0:00.8397
7 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.1033 0:00.8603
8 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:30.1749 0:00.9319
9 14 Cub Cadet Mowers Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.1779 0:00.9349
10 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:30.2265 0:00.9835
11 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:30.2557 0:01.0127
12 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.2890 0:01.0460
13 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.3039 0:01.0609
14 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.3991 0:01.1561
15 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.4314 0:01.1884
16 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.4399 0:01.1969
17 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:30.6137 0:01.3707
18 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.6977 0:01.4547
19 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:30.7936 0:01.5506
20 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.8712 0:01.6282
21 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.9880 0:01.7450
22 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.0505 0:01.8075
23 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:31.1296 0:01.8866
24 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.2079 0:01.9649

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