Supercars Sydney: De Pasquale and Whincup share wins, van Gisbergen penalised

Jamie Whincup won a wild third race of Supercars' second weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park under lights in wet weather, after Anton de Pasquale had swept to race two victory.

Supercars Sydney: De Pasquale and Whincup share wins, van Gisbergen penalised

A poor first race for Whincup, finishing 25th after a puncture and a subsequent second stop, allowed points leader Shane van Gisbergen to extend his advantage, but that was trimmed again when the Triple Eight driver was penalised in race three and finished back in 23rd.

Dick Johnson Racing driver De Pasquale, who had won two of the three races held at SMP last weekend in the first Supercars race meeting held in three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, had taken soft tyres for the start of race two in drying conditions following a downpour.

Fellow front-row starter Shane van Gisbergen went for hards and while the points leader got the better start to lead on the first lap, poleman 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 eight seconds 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 than two seconds ahead.

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 eight seconds.

Anton De Pasquale, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang

Anton De Pasquale, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

However, van Gisbergen still extended his points lead as a puncture and subsequent second stop left team-mate and closest contender Jamie Whincup way down in 25th.

Tickford's James Courtney made good headway from sixth on the grid, using a similar strategy to De Pasquale to round out the podium as Will Davison (DJR) and Scott Pye (Team 18) finished fourth and fifth.

Whincup's fortunes turned for race three, held in the dark with poor visibility thanks to the spray under lights.

A fast start from the third row of the grid proved decisive for Whincup, the seven-time series champ bolting into a lead he'd hold to the end when the race was declared with seven laps to go.

Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Bryce Fullwood launched from eighth to second, but was subsequently hit with a pitlane penalty for a jumped start.

There was more lap one action further back in the pack, Brodie Kostecki and Courtney both firing off at Turn 3 to cause a six-lap Safety Car.

The restart provided more drama, as fourth-placed van Gisbergen sailed off the road at Turn 1. He managed to bounce over the gravel and continue at the back of the field, an impressive charge over the laps that followed helping him back up to 12th.

However he was then slapped with a drive-though for passing De Pasquale before the control line at the restart – only for Triple Eight to successfully argue that De Pasquale had backed off. The penalty was revoked, only for van Gisbergen to then cop another one when his car was dropped with the rattle gun on the right rear during his stop.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Photo by: Edge Photographics

At the front of the field, Whincup continued to lead ahead of De Pasquale, while Fullwood's team-mate Chaz Mostert – coming from the back row after being excluded from qualifying – made great progress by running long.

A lap 21 safety car, called when Jake Kostecki sent his Matt Stone Racing entry into the wall, then played into Mostert's hands, a free stop helping him protect his position on the road.

That safety car eventually became a red flag with seven laps to go, before race control opted to call the race off. That left Whincup as the winner, for the 124th time in a Supercars career that will come to an end after the Bathurst 1000, from De Pasquale and Mostert.

Nick Percat and Tim Slade finished fourth and fifth, the latter dealing without a wiper for most of the race.

Subbing for the suspended David Reynolds at Kelly Grove Racing, Luke Youlden took a brace of 11th places.

Supercars Sydney Race 2 results (32 laps)

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT -  
2 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 8.303 8.304
3 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 17.504 17.504
4 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 17.824 17.824
5 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 19.714 19.715
6 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 23.601 23.602
7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 28.704 28.704
8 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 30.043 30.044
9 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 31.765 31.765
10 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 32.111 32.112
11 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 34.902 34.903
12 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 35.619 35.620
13 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 43.102 43.103
14 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 43.573 43.574
15 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 45.509 45.509
16 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 51.194 51.195
17 Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 51.273 51.274
18 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 52.973 52.974
19 Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 53.395 53.396
20 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 59.438 59.439
21 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 59.664 59.665
22 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'01.027 1'01.027
23 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1'05.212 1'05.212
24 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.286 1'07.287
25 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1'21.205 1'21.205
26 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap  

Supercars Sydney Race 3 results (23 laps)

Cla   Driver Car Time Gap
1   Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB -  
2   Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1.190 1.190
3   Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 2.437 2.438
4   Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 3.414 3.414
5   Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 4.520 4.521
6   Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 5.262 5.262
7   Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 6.265 6.265
8   Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 7.121 7.121
9   Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 7.747 7.747
10   New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 9.277 9.277
11   Australia Luke Youlden Ford Mustang GT 10.066 10.067
12   Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 10.478 10.478
13   Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 11.310 11.310
14   Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 13.147 13.147
15   Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 13.969 13.969
16   Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 14.695 14.696
17   Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 15.752 15.752
18   Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 16.661 16.662
19   New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 17.531 17.531
20   Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 18.639 18.639
21   Australia Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 20.128 20.128
22   Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 21.814 21.814
23   New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 24.447 24.448
    Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB    
    Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB    
    Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT    
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