De Pasquale: ‘We’re making inroads’

Shell V-Power Racing Team ace Anton De Pasquale pens his thoughts following an entertaining return to Western Australia for the Supercars Championship, all in his exclusive The Distiller column for Speedcafe.com, presented by Dasher + Fisher.

G’day guys,

It was awesome to be back in Perth on the weekend after a few years away.

The weekend was really full on with a pretty jampacked schedule and lots of signing sessions but it was unreal to see so many fans out in force.

Hearing all the noise behind the paddock is encouraging to see and it’s a great little track to race at.

Going around under lights on the Saturday was cool too. It’s not quite as lit as Sydney but I didn’t find it too bad.

It helped that I was out in front for most of the race but I do quite enjoy it when it’s a bit sketchy and dark.

One of the coolest experiences I’ve done is a night stint in Dubai in the 24 Hour, with no track lights and you’re just using your headlights.

The headlights there are a bit better than our cars but it’s real dark and super cool. Obviously it’s not something that we can do but I didn’t find it too much of an issue with the track.

The first couple of laps, a couple of your reference points are a bit darker than what you expect, but you adapt pretty quick.

So yeah, we led about 95 percent of that race before getting run down by Shane [van Gisbergen].

Anton De Pasquale finished second in the Saturday night race at Wanneroo. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

I was stoked to see Will [Davison] get a win on Sunday and he was right up there as well in the last race, when I was also coming through on the alternative strategy at the end there.

Obviously still in race trim we’re not quite at Shane’s level but I feel like we’re making inroads towards it.

Plenty had been said about us not being able to convert poles into wins but I don’t think it was a burden on us or that we were waking up every morning stressing about it. The hype and the noise always comes externally.

We’re in it trying to win every race. We want it as much as, and if not more than, anyone else.

I think the positive thing is, always basically one of the cars have at least been on the podium so that’s quite a good thing for consistency.

It’s not like we’re struggling or the thing is bad, we’re better than most, it’s just that one car is particularly strong in race trim.

Like I said, I think we’re making inroads and I think we learnt a couple of things this weekend which hopefully we can press on with for the rest of the year.

That consistency has helped us close up a lot in the teams’ championship because we’re now only 13 points behind Triple Eight.

Next up is Winton, which is a cool place.

I’ve never been there with the Shell V-Power Racing Team, so it’s going to be interesting.

There’s been a couple of little track changes there and obviously the surface would have aged and all that kind of stuff as well.

Most of the field test there as well so we’ll see what happens, but I assume we’ll have something that will be there or thereabouts and we’ll try to see if we can open the account for the #11 crew.

Thanks everyone for your support,

Anton

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