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Sydney Supercars: De Pasquale wins intriguing Race 2

Anton De Pasquale triumphed in a strategically intriguing second Supercars race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Anton De Pasquale, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

Tyres were the key talking point in the second of three 32-lap heats, a drying track giving teams effectively three options for starting rubber – wets, softs and hards.

A few fitted wets for the lap to the grid, however it was clear close to the race start that it was too dry for grooved rubber.

That saw the field split between softs and hards, including front-row starters De Pasquale (softs) and Shane van Gisbergen (hards).

While van Gisbergen got the better start and led on the first lap, the soft-shod De Pasquale quickly snuck by and bolted into the lead.

The duo then staged an intriguing strategic battle, De Pasquale the hare needing to take hards later in the race, while van Gisbergen could tick off laps and wait to switch to the softs.

Van Gisbergen dropped around 8s to De Pasquale across the first stint, before taking his stop on Lap 13.

De Pasquale stayed out on the softs until Lap 23, emerging from his stop less then 2s ahead of his Triple Eight rival.

But while van Gisbergen had the faster compound, the 10 laps they'd already covered meant they were past their best. That meant a new set of hards was enough for De Pasquale to retain and then increase the lead, his final winning margin more than 8s.

"I think we were blessed heavens there with the rain holding off," said De Pasquale. "Our car was a jet. I just built enough gap to make that strategy work. Lucky the car was fast and the old soft, new hard worked itself out."

While he missed out on victory, van Gisbergen was still a big winner in the title fight. A puncture, and subsequent second stop, left teammate and closest contender Jamie Whincup way down in 25th.

Van Gisbergen's lead is now 418 points.

James Courtney made good headway from sixth on the grid, using a similar strategy to De Pasquale to round out the podium.

Will Davison and Scott Pye finished fourth and fifth followed by Scott Pye and Will Brown.

The battle for seventh was the highlight of the closing stages, Andre Heimgartner and Chaz Mostert staging a fierce battle. The pair were on different strategies, Heimgartner coming home on hards while Mostert was on a charge on the softs.

The pair made contact a number of times, Mostert's complaints about blocking over the radio leading to Heimgartner copping a bad sportsmanship flag.

However the Kelly Grove Racing driver did enough to hold on to the position.

Nick Percat and Mark Winterbottom rounded out the Top 10.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap Interval
1 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT -    
2 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 8.303 8.304 8.304
3 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 17.504 17.504 9.200
4 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 17.824 17.824 0.320
5 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 19.714 19.715 1.891
6 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 23.601 23.602 3.887
7 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 28.704 28.704 5.103
8 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 30.043 30.044 1.340
9 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 31.765 31.765 1.721
10 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 32.111 32.112 0.347
11 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 34.902 34.903 2.791
12 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 35.619 35.620 0.717
13 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 43.102 43.103 7.483
14 19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 43.573 43.574 0.471
15 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 45.509 45.509 1.936
16 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 51.194 51.195 5.685
17 26 Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 51.273 51.274 0.079
18 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 52.973 52.974 1.700
19 27 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 53.395 53.396 0.422
20 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 59.438 59.439 6.043
21 34 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 59.664 59.665 0.226
22 35 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'01.027 1'01.027 1.363
23 22 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1'05.212 1'05.212 4.185
24 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.286 1'07.287 2.074
25 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1'21.205 1'21.205 13.919
26 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap    

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