De Pasquale heads DJR one-two in Race 16
Saturday 18th June, 2022 - 4:58pm
Anton De Pasquale has dominated Race 16 at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown to lead home a Shell V-Power Racing Team one-two.
For Red Bull Ampol Racing, it was a missed opportunity for Shane van Gisbergen who suffered a slow pit stop – eventually charging home late in the piece to secure third.
In his 500th race, Will Davison would defend valiantly but ultimately couldn’t convert pole position after losing the lead on Lap 1 to his team-mate.
“It’s awesome, always good to get a one-two,” said De Pasquale.
“We came pretty close down at Turn 5 but we all came out the other side, so hopefully it was good racing for everyone at home.
“We’re always trying to put on a good show here in Darwin, so yeah, awesome race.”
Off the line, it was a relatively even getaway between the Dick Johnson Racing entries. Andre Heimgartner walked his car off the line well, but Davison covered on the run down to Turn 1, leaving the R&J Batteries Racing driver with nowhere to go.
Under brakes, De Pasquale got his nose ahead of Davison and hung around the outside. The pair duly ran side-by-side through the esses, only to make wheel-to-wheel contact on the run to Turn 5. Fortunately, the pair escaped unscathed, though De Pasquale prevailed.
Macauley Jones (#96 Kubota Racing) was an early victim of the opening lap melee as he fell off the road at Turn 1.
Jake Kostecki (#56 Tradie Racing) shortcut the penultimate corner, losing out to Scott Pye (#20 Nulon Racing) and Tickford Racing team-mate Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing).
At the end of Lap 1, it was De Pasquale who led Davison, Heimgartner, van Gisbergen, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing), Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Racing), David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Racing), Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Racing), Pye, and Waters.
At the commencement of Lap 2, van Gisbergen sent smoke signals as he locked up under brakes into Turn 1 as he sought to find a way by Heimgartner.
Drama struck on Lap 2 when Jack Smith found the wall. Moments later, Brad Jones Racing would have another dose of drama: hopes of a strong finish for hometown hero Fullwood were dashed when he made contact with Reynolds at the final corner on Lap 1.
That sent the Grove Racing driver into a spin and with enough damage to force him to pit. Fullwood was subsequently given a 15-second penalty for the contact, which he served during his pit stop. In the end, he would come home 17th.
Chaos continued on Lap 3 when Brown got into the rear of Pither, the pair of them going off the road at Turn 7. Pither would suffer a puncture and missed opportunity having started 11th while Brown copped damage to his left front suspension that would rule him out of contention. Pither, in the end, was 24th.
Come Lap 10, van Gisbergen cleared Heimgartner with a pass at the hairpin to occupy the final place of the podium.
Tim Slade’s effort to usurp Garry Jacobson further afield came undone after he locked up into Turn 5 and ran wide. That saw him cede places to Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Racing) and Todd Hazelwood.
Heimgartner would lose out in the pit stop sequence, dropping out of podium contention when he was undercut by Mostert who pitted on Lap 16 – two laps earlier than Heimgartner.
De Pasquale pitted on Lap 20, returning to the race ahead of team-mate Davison. That gave van Gisbergen the lead, who opted to run longer.
Come the end of Lap 23, van Gisbergen came to the lane for his stop; opting to take three tyres. Any benefit of taking the extra tyre was hindered when the left rear tyre changer struggled to get his wheel fitted. On the rejoin, van Gisbergen would come out behind Pye to sit seventh.
With the benefit of fresh rubber, the Kiwi quickly dispatched Pye and then his own team-mate Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing) who had made his way to fifth courtesy of a particularly early pit stop.
Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Racing) briefly cycled his way to the lead, although he pitted soon enough to hand De Pasquale the lead to the tune of 1.7s over Davison. Third was Mostert, 3.0s adrift of the lead.
Heimgartner was a distant fourth, 5.9s away once the field was cleansed on Lap 26. Van Gisbergen was quickly within striking distance to take fourth and with 10 laps to go cleared him at Turn 5.
Lap after lap, van Gisbergen ate into the margin of the leaders. With eight tours of Hidden Valley Raceway remaining, the gap stood at 4.7s.
Come Lap 33, van Gisbergen put himself onto the podium with a pass on Mostert at Turn 6. That put Davison in van Gisbergen’s crosshairs with a little over five laps remaining.
With three laps to go, van Gisbergen got within striking distance of Davison. However, a pass wasn’t forthcoming immediately. Indeed, van Gisbergen’s hopes were nearly dashed when he wagged the tail under brakes at Turn 5 on the penultimate lap.
Ultimately, van Gisbergen couldn’t clear Davison, settling for third. At the head of the field, De Pasquale came across the line 1.1 clear of the trailing pair.
Mostert fell shy of the podium, claiming fourth while Heimgartner was fifth.
The top 10 was completed by Winterbottom, Pye, Waters, Feeney, and James Courtney.
Two qualifying sessions will set the grid for Race 17 and Race 18 tomorrow, the first of which gets underway at 08:35 local time/09:05 AEST.
Results: Race 16, Merlin Darwin Triple Crown
|1||11||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT|
|2||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||+1.1831|
|3||97||Red Bull Ampol Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden ZB Commodore||+1.4784|
|4||8||R&J Batteries Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden ZB Commodore||+6.6768|
|5||18||Irwin Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden ZB Commodore||+14.4053|
|6||20||Nulon Racing||Scott Pye||Holden ZB Commodore||+18.3171|
|7||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||+19.3786|
|8||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing||Broc Feeney||Holden ZB Commodore||+23.9295|
|9||5||Snowy River Caravans||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||+24.4053|
|10||99||Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus||Brodie Kostecki||Holden ZB Commodore||+24.9411|
|11||56||Tradie Racing||Jake Kostecki||Ford Mustang GT||+25.4186|
|12||3||CoolDrive Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||+29.5790|
|13||34||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden ZB Commodore||+33.5510|
|14||2||Mobil 1 NTI Racing||Nick Percat||Holden ZB Commodore||+33.5743|
|15||10||Penrite Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||+34.0505|
|16||35||Truck Assist Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden ZB Commodore||+34.0774|
|17||27||East Coast Lubes||Jayden Ojeda||Holden ZB Commodore||+35.1375|
|18||14||Middy’s Electrical Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden ZB Commodore||+35.3056|
|19||55||Castrol Racing||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT||+39.1215|
|20||96||Kubota Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden ZB Commodore||+44.6432|
|21||78||Opposite Lock||Zak Best||Ford Mustang GT||+58.7357|
|22||76||Subway Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden ZB Commodore||+1:02.0793|
|23||22||Coca-Cola No Sugar Racing||Chris Pither||Holden ZB Commodore||+1 lap|
|24||4||SCT Logistics Racing||Jack Smith||Holden ZB Commodore||+3 laps|
|25||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||+7 laps|
|DSQ||25||Mobil 1 Optus Racing||Chaz Mostert||Holden ZB Commodore||+5.2558|
|DNF||9||Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus||Will Brown||Holden ZB Commodore|
Fastest lap (bonus): Shane van Gisbergen, 1:07.2234s, Lap 27
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||1467|
|2||Anton De Pasquale||1195|
|20||Jack Le Brocq||512|
|1||88||97||Triple Eight Race Engineering||2414|
|2||11||17||Dick Johnson Racing||2305|
|6||2||25||Walkinshaw Andretti United||1602|
|8||8||14||Brad Jones Racing||1322|
|9||34||35||Matt Stone Racing||1262|
|10||4||96||Brad Jones Racing||991|
|13||3||Blanchard Racing Team||813|
|14||27||Walkinshaw Andretti United||126|