06 SEP 2020
Anton misses potential podium, while David charges through
Penrite Racing's Anton De Pasquale has missed out on a potential podium place in Townsville today, crashing out in the final race, while teammate David Reynolds made an impressive charge through the field to finish P11.
Starting from ninth on the grid, David got away well while Anton started further back in P23 after not recording a proper lap time in qualifying. With a lot of moving and shaking going on in front, Anton held back and used caution getting around the first lap.
The #99 racer and was the first to pit at the end of lap 6 for a full set of rubber. David opted to take his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap 14 for four tyres also.
Their true positions weren't clear until the pit sequences had cycled through, and once the field had sorted itself out David fell just outside the top ten, while the undercut worked well for Anton who was up nine places from where he started with six laps remaining.
With cars behind starting to come through on fresher rubber the two fought well, though David became the victim when drama unfolded in a battle pack for ninth place. Rick Kelly and Chaz Mostert baulked in front of the Penrite racer and with David left with nowhere to go, the #9 Holden copped both front and rear end damage. David limped home in 15thplace, leading his teammate home who was now 16th.
The crew did an amazing job to get the #9 Commodore as good as new for the second 39-lapper, where it started from P21 after copping a penalty in qualifying for impeding Andre Heimgartner. On the other side of the garage though, Anton got a terrific start from the second row, slotting into third before the first corner.
With a lot of shuffling, Anton fell down the order slightly though knew a fresh set of rubber wasn't far away. He pit from fifth on the road at the end of lap 14 while David was the second last car to stop at the end of lap 22.
With the field cleansed Anton was back in fifth and had his sets sight on the podium. Lapping 0.8-seconds a lap quicker than the two cars in front, it wouldn't be long until he secured third place though it all came undone the next lap. With the Townsville street circuit known for wear and tear, a front-end component broke on the approach at Turn 6, firing Anton into the tyre barrier. It was the day done for the young gun, and enough to call the weekend's only Safety Car.
It played into his teammate's hands though, bunching the field back up with just 10 laps remaining. David on a fresh set of tyres put his elbows out and raced hard until the checkered flag. The #9 made a whopping nine places from P20 on the restart to reach 11th at the finish line, just missing tenth by 0.0048 of a second.
Anton De Pasquale was disappointed at the conclusion of the day, though was positive with their pace across qualifying and the races: "We made a couple tweaks overnight. I just broke a bit deep into 1 in the first qualifying, locked the front which basically set no lap time but we bounced back in the second qualifying. It was ultimately the first lap we did for the day which was good enough for 4th, so the changes we made were a good step and we got what we needed out of the car. I just shagged up the first session, we had two top five starting positions in the car no doubt.
"The first race we just got through without damage, and we used the opportunity to save tyres so we had enough for the last race but still managed to make some positions up doing that. The last race I got into third at the start, though didn't have much pace in the first stint. We pitted early and the car came quite good and it was fast in the second stint but something broke in the front off the curb and I ended up in the fence. You never know what will happen in the race, but I had no pressure from behind and I was coming at the two in front quite quick, with a slight tyre advantage too. We were in a good position; it would have been a hard fight but we had the car speed to get a podium today."
Meanwhile, David Reynolds said: "I rolled out in qualifying and was pleasantly surprised to get ninth. We haven't had the best weekend, overall. I think we chopped and changed too much trying to find some race pace. It's not working the best out there for me but we'll have a good think over the coming weeks and think harder about what we are doing and come back stronger.
"The last race was a lot of fun, it was unfortunate for Anton because it ended his day, but it played into my hands. I had just pitted two laps before that Safety Car came out and I was able to race cars who had worse tyres in front of me. I was able to carve them up and have the confidence to pass them."
The team now head to Mount Gambier, South Australia, as they set up a temporary base ahead of the double-header in Tailem Bend later this month.