Sydney Supercars: De Pasquale wins intriguing Race 2
Anton De Pasquale triumphed in a strategically intriguing second Supercars race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
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.
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.
|1||11||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||-|
|2||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||8.303||8.304||8.304|
|3||44||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||17.504||17.504||9.200|
|4||17||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||17.824||17.824||0.320|
|5||20||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||19.714||19.715||1.891|
|6||9||Will Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||23.601||23.602||3.887|
|7||7||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||28.704||28.704||5.103|
|8||25||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||30.043||30.044||1.340|
|9||8||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||31.765||31.765||1.721|
|10||18||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||32.111||32.112||0.347|
|11||96||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||34.902||34.903||2.791|
|12||3||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||35.619||35.620||0.717|
|13||6||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||43.102||43.103||7.483|
|14||19||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore ZB||43.573||43.574||0.471|
|15||55||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT||45.509||45.509||1.936|
|16||2||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||51.194||51.195||5.685|
|17||26||Luke Youlden||Ford Mustang GT||51.273||51.274||0.079|
|18||5||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||52.973||52.974||1.700|
|19||27||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||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||59.664||59.665||0.226|
|22||35||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1'01.027||1'01.027||1.363|
|23||22||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1'05.212||1'05.212||4.185|
|24||4||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1'07.286||1'07.287||2.074|
|25||88||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1'21.205||1'21.205||13.919|
|26||14||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1 lap|
|View full results|
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