DJR confident of turnaround

Anton De Pasquale

Dick Johnson Racing team principal Ben Croke is confident the struggling Ford team can rebound in Sunday’s final two races of the Perth SuperSprint at Wanneroo Raceway.

Will Davison salvaged eighth in Saturday’s opener in his wounded Shell V-Power Racing Mustang, while Anton De Pasquale’s languished in 13th after qualifying poorly.

Croke saw enough glimpses of pace in practice and qualifying to be convinced that DJR would engineer a turnaround overnight for the remaining 42-lap sprint races.

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” he told Speedcafe. “There are some positives there.”

After a poor start to the season at Newcastle, the Gen3 Ford homologation squad recovered to show some speed at the Australian GP.

De Pasquale was fourth quickest in Friday’s marathon practice session, while Davison struggled back in 13th.

Their fortunes were reversed in qualifying, with Davo securing seventh spot as ADP faded to 18th starting position.

Croke is convinced there are signs that the Saturday setback at Wanneroo will be overcome.

“We think we have something to work with,” he said. “The cars are better than the results suggest, absolutely.

“Anton proved on Friday afternoon that the pace was there when we get it right. And Will was quick on some green tyre runs in quali and had we had a set of greens to put on in Q3, I think we’d probably have been a top four car.”

Davison was compromised in the race by damage suffered on the first lap.

“The steering was well down and he really battled that thing home the whole way,” Croke explained. “So through the pitstop cycle, we probably put him in a position to be probably P5 for the race, but the damage was just too much on the poor old left tyre.”

“So plenty to work with overnight and if we can put it together [for Sunday], I think we should be able to get some good results.

“I think there’s some good results just around the corner there. “There are some positives there and if we execute a few things right, it starts coming together.”

Qualifying sessions for Races 8 and 9 are scheduled for 0925-0940 local/1125-1140 AEST and 0950-1005 local/1150-1205 AEST respectively.

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