Ford wins with De Pasquale breaking through for Mustang victory in Townsville

2023-07-09 18:15:00

Ford wins with De Pasquale breaking through for Mustang victory in Townsville
Anton De Pasquale has snapped Ford's 15-race winless streak with victory in an absorbing NTI Townsville 500 finale.

De Pasquale, who last won at Hidden Valley in June 2022, led home Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet star Brodie Kostecki and Brad Jones Racing's R&J Batteries Camaro kiwi ace Andre Heimgartner who rounded out the podium.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford driver completed victory on a weekend that 127,044 fans packed into Reid Park.

It was the first Ford win in Townsville since Scott McLaughlin in 2020, the team's and Ford's first since Will Davison at Pukekohe last September.

The win itself was a stunning turnaround by the Shell Ford squad, given De Pasquale didn't finish Saturday's race due to an electrical drama.

De Pasquale became the 8th different driver to win in 2023, and his Shell Ford squad became the 6th different team to grab victory over the opening six rounds.

"It's awesome, it's been an average year so far. The guys worked all night fixing the problems from yesterday," said De Pasquale, who became the eighth different winner of 2023.

"I had an amazing car today, it was a dream to drive. Big credit to everyone behind me, they've done awesome. It's good to get this done."

One of the big moments of the race was the exchanges between Red Bull Ampol Racing teammates Broc Feeney and Shane van Gisbergen who finished fourth and fifth.

Van Gisbergen marked his 500th Supercars race with a charge from last on the grid after poor qualifying. The defending Supercars Champion even spun on lap 1. But as he always does, van Gisbergen found a way toward the front. He passed his teammate easily, but late in the race handed fourth to teammate Feeney at the flag.

The end margin between De Pasquale and Kostecki was 5.0692s, with the Ford ace taking his first victory in Townsville.

Kostecki slashed teammate Will Brown's championship lead to just seven points heading to the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight later this month, the first ever night race between the Gen3 Camaros and Mustangs.

A frustrated Chaz Mostert's race ended with a power steering issue on lap 4, consigning the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver to his second DNF of the season.

De Pasquale — who languished in 20th in the points heading into Sunday — cruised home to take his first win of the season.

Toowoomba's Brown, who won Saturday's race, leads the championship by seven points over Kostecki, with Feeney and van Gisbergen 26 and 72 points back respectively.

Erebus, meanwhile, will carry a 91-point lead over Triple Eight to Sydney Motorsport Park.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Tickets are on sale now.


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