ANTON DE PASQUALE CLAIMS WIN NO. 400 FOR FORD IN A SHELL V-POWER RACING TEAM 1-2Jackson Stubbs
THE BEND SUPERSPRINT – SUNDAY 9 MAY – QUALIFYING, RACE 10 & RACE 11
Anton De Pasquale – No. 11 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – Race 10: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m48.6765s)
Qualifying – Race 11: 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m48.1859s)
Race 10 – 1st (Fastest time: 1:50.5928s)
Race 11 – DNF (Fastest time: 1:51.6088s)
Will Davison – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – Race 10: 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m48.8677s)
Qualifying – Race 11: 5th (Fastest Lap: 1m48.6044s)
Race 10 – 2nd (Fastest time: 1:50.6735s)
Race 11 – 3rd (Fastest time: 1:50.7425s)
A big improvement in weather overnight meant we would roll out for our first dry session of the weekend. Coming off the back of a podium for De Pasquale in Race 9, the team was looking to continue momentum into day two at The Bend.
We rolled out for the first of two 10 minute sessions to clear skies and a dry track. Working on the same strategy, Davison and De Pasquale completed one fast lap before returning to the lane for another set of tyres.
De Pasquale put in a solid lap, going P1 by three tenths. Davison didn’t quite get his lap together how he wanted and was P7. One more set of green tyres fitted and both drivers had time for one more flyer. De Pasquale went quickest and claimed his first career pole! Davison also went quick, just two tenths away from his teammate, finishing off a 1-2 finish for the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
After a quick break, Davison headed out at the start of the following session which would determine the grid for Race 11. Confident with pace, De Pasquale sat in pit lane and waited for a clear track to complete one flying lap.
Davison was forced to pit before setting a time, reporting that he was having an issue with his gear lever. The crew was able to fix it enough so Davison could head back out and complete a timed lap.
De Pasquale headed out with five minutes remaining for one effort. It was another great lap which sent him straight to the top. Davison bounced back well after the earlier gear lever issue. He put in a solid lap in traffic and ended up with the fifth quickest time.
De Pasquale’s time remained the quickest giving him his second pole position from two sessions.
RACE 10 RECAP
Following a terrific qualifying session from the team, the Shell V-Power Racing Team occupied the first row of the grid for the start of Race 10. Davison and De Pasquale got great starts, drag racing each other into turn 1. They were side by side through turn two but De Pasquale held the front position with Davison slotting in behind.
Chaos ensued with championship contenders Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters coming together behind the two Shell V-Power Racing Mustangs. Dealing with low tyre pressures, Davison locked up into turn one on the third lap but was able to recover and hold his position. Teammate, De Pasquale did the same on the next lap around, left the track, but also managed to hang onto his spot.
De Pasquale was brought in for his pit stop on lap seven for two tyres down the left side. He returned back in front of James Courtney who pitted the lap previous from P4. Davison utilised the fresh air and stayed out for another three laps before coming in on lap 11 for his stop. He returned in effective P3 but used his tyre advantage to get past James Courtney and back behind his teammate.
With eight laps remaining, Triple Eight’s Shane Van Gisbergen returned from his pit stop behind Davison with much fresher tyres. Three laps later, Van Gisbergen was within a second of Davison, pressuring hard for P2. With two laps remaining, Davison was under serious pressure but was holding on. He did a great job keeping the Commodore behind him, finishing the race in P2.
De Pasquale drove a solid race, leading from start to finish, claiming his first win with the team and the teams first win of 2021. The win is also No. 400 for Ford in Supercars – an incredible result!
RACE 11 RECAP
With a tight turnaround between races, the crew worked hard to get both cars ready to line up for Race 11.
Once again, De Pasquale started from P1 with Davison starting on the third row in P6. De Pasquale continued his run of good starts, launching off the line well and holding the lead through the opening lap.
Starting a couple of rows back, Davison dropped two spots off the start before making them back immediately with a move down the inside at turn six.
Disaster struck on just the second lap with De Pasquale reporting an engine issue. He was brought into the garage and shortly after, his day was done.
Meanwhile, Davison brought his Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang into pit lane on lap eight to attempt an undercut on Jamie Whincup. Two laps later, Whincup returned from his stop behind the No. 17 – a successful undercut.
Davison maintained competitive pace throughout the middle of the race, holding a good buffer between himself and P4. With no pressure coming from behind, Davison was able to comfortably bring it home in P3.
A bitter end to a sweet day for De Pasquale after suffering engine issues on lap two of the race. Great race pace and a quick stop from the crew meant Davison was able to advance three spots and finish on the third step of the podium.
Davison is now 4th in the Drivers Championship, with De Pasquale sitting 7th. The Shell V-Power Racing Team is second in the Teams Championship with 1509 points.
DE PASQUALE QUOTE
“It was one of those day which was close to being perfect. We got two poles, a win in the first race and in a really good position to win the second race. I had a good start, led the first lap and was really happy with how the car felt but then it all derailed from there with an engine issue.”
“Overall it was still an amazing day. To get my first Supercars pole, add another one to the tally, plus win a race is pretty special and the cherry on top was to have Will complete the team’s 1-2 in Race 10.”
“Definitely happy! Yesterday was tricky because I knew there was so much potential in the car so it was just frustrating with the weather and not being able to show it, so to have a dry day today, we really got to show the teams potential with a 1-2 qualifying and race result. A huge congratulations to Anton for the win. It’s great to be apart of such a solid team result.”
“A good salvage for me in the second race after starting fifth. We went really aggressively with the strategy pitting really early but I think it was definitely the right call so certainty really happy to keep the consistency up with another podium.”