De Pasquale unfazed by engineer change for Townsville

Ludo Lacroix. Picture: Ross Gibb

Anton De Pasquale is confident of having a smooth run at the NTI Townsville 500 despite the looming absence of regular race engineer Ludo Lacroix.

The Frenchman is heading back to his homeland to visit family – an opportunity that has been a long time coming due to travel hurdles presented by COVID-19 – with Shell V-Power Racing Team technical director Mark Fenning filling in on the #11 Mustang.

It’s hardly unfamiliar territory for Fenning, who operated directly on Fabian Coulthard’s car for multiple seasons during the DJR Team Penske era before shifting into an overarching role.

Fenning in fact was back in the swing of race engineering last weekend at Darwin, substituting for Rich Harris (paternity leave) on Will Davison’s car.

The switch certainly did not slow Davison down, the #17 driver scoring two pole positions including setting the fastest ever Supercars lap around Hidden Valley.

De Pasquale downplayed the temporary change to his programme for the July 8-10 street event.

“Everyone involved in the team is sort of involved at all levels,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“Will had Mark on the weekend and he did a really good job and most of last year and even this year, Mark has been at every race anyway and he has obviously engineered for a very long time so everyone works together well.

“Obviously it will be different without Ludo because I have been working with him the whole time but they’ll work together in the build-up and everything.

“It’s good for Ludo to get back home and see his family. This is sort of the best break to do it, because it has been however many years, so yeah we’ll be able to make it work.”

De Pasquale holds second in the championship after six rounds, with his deficit to leader Shane van Gisbergen now at a reduced 214 points.

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