DJR goes to ground after Newcastle 500 shocker

A Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang. Picture: Ross Gibb

A Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang. Picture: Ross Gibb

Dick Johnson Racing has maintained silence after neither of its cars finished or even qualified in the top 10 for Race 1 at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

Will Davison took the chequered flag in 13th position and Anton De Pasquale was classified 18th at a lap off the pace at the conclusion of the first race of the Gen3 Supercars era.

Neither looked like troubling the front-runners at any stage during a 95-lapper at the Newcastle East Street Circuit which was dominated by Red Bull Ampol Racing, with Shane van Gisbergen beating team-mate Broc Feeney to the chequered flag by more than 14 seconds.

It was a sorry day all-round for the DJR Mustangs, neither of which made the Top 10 Shootout.

Davison grafted his way to 14th position in Qualifying for Race 1 while suffering clutch failure in Car #17, while De Pasquale’s 17th in that session was presumably down to a simple lack of pace.

Come the afternoon’s race, the latter was on the back foot almost immediately when he spun on Lap 2 due to contact with the Blanchard Racing’s Todd Hazelwood at Turn 8.

Having already dropped two positions on the opening lap, Car #11 dropped all the way to the rear of the 25-car field as a result of the incident, for which officials opted to not take any action.

With more than 20 laps remaining, De Pasquale was lapped as he ran in 19th position again, where he took the chequered flag.

A time penalty for Tickford Racing’s Thomas Randle then had the effect of elevating Car #11 to 18th in the official classification. reporters sought out spokespersons for DJR in the pits in the aftermath of Race 1 of the season, but none were forthcoming with any comment on the lacklustre performance.

“We aren’t making any comment today, thank you,” team CEO David Noble told

When pressed, he reiterated, “No, thank you.”

The Ford homologation outfit now occupies eighth in the teams’ championship, three points behind new Blue Oval squad Walkinshaw Andretti United, which saw only one of its Mustangs make the chequered flag.

Qualifying for Race 2 of the season starts tomorrow at 11:15 local time/AEDT.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]