Sydney Supercars: Dominant De Pasquale wins opener

Anton De Pasquale converted his sublime Australian Supercars form at Sydney Motorsport Park into an opening race win under lights as the series held its first race in three months.

Sydney Supercars: Dominant De Pasquale wins opener

The Dick Johnson Racing ace made light work of the first 32-lapper of the weekend, the first Supercars race held since Townsville in July due to a COVID-19 hiatus, turning pole into a dominant lights-to-flag win.

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen, who made good early headway from sixth on the grid, did his best to challenge De Pasquale with an overcut strategy.

But even stopping four laps later didn't give him the pace to run De Pasquale down in the second stint as the 26-year-old romped home to win by five seconds.

"That was good, it was good fun," said De Pasquale.

"It's always fun at night. It was quite a good battle with Will [Davison] into Turns 1 and 2 and there guys delivered me an awesome car. It was good to convert this one."

Behind van Gisbergen, there was a thrilling late battle for the last spot on the podium.

Nick Percat found himself running third mid-way through the second stint, but under significant pressure from Erebus pair Brodie Kostecki and Will Brown, who had both taken on four new tyres rather than two during their stops.

Percat's stubborn defence held out until the penultimate lap when Kostecki finally found his way past, demoting the #8 BJR Holden to fourth place.

Percat did manage to hold off Brown, who was unlucky not to be well clear in third place based on his opening stint.

The rookie had run second until late in the first stint when he was passed by van Gisbergen, and then lost more positions in his stop when a crew member dropped a wheel nut.

Fighting back to fifth was, in that context, an impressive effort.

Will Davison, Dick Johnson Racing

Will Davison, Dick Johnson Racing

Photo by: Dick Johnson Racing

Chaz Mostert finished sixth ahead of De Pasquale's team-mate Will Davison, who actually made the best start out of any of the front-runners, but with nowhere to go past De Pasquale and Brown on the first lap ran wide.

That cost him critical momentum, Davison swiftly losing a heap of places and never finding his way back to the front group. 

David Reynolds finished eighth, Jamie Whincup ninth and Tim Slade 10th.

Sydney Supercars Race 1 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 5.159 5.160
3 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 10.389 10.389
4 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 10.963 10.964
5 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 11.676 11.677
6 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 16.936 16.936
7 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 18.520 18.520
8 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 22.593 22.594
9 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 22.811 22.812
10 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 27.515 27.516
11 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 36.614 36.615
12 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 37.136 37.137
13 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 37.958 37.958
14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 38.592 38.593
15 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 38.798 38.798
16 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 41.789 41.790
17 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 43.892 43.893
18 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 45.061 45.062
19 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 45.233 45.233
20 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 45.382 45.382
21 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 45.572 45.573
22 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 53.908 53.909
23 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 56.952 56.952
24 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1'00.728 1'00.729
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