De Pasquale broke through for a sensational victory in the NTI Townsville 500 finale, putting an end to Ford’s 15-race winless streak. The talented driver, representing the Shell V-Power Racing Team, emerged triumphant in an exhilarating race that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
The weekend in Townsville was a spectacle in itself, with a staggering 127,044 passionate fans flooding into Reid Park. It was a vibrant atmosphere that only added to the anticipation surrounding the race. And De Pasquale didn’t disappoint. He showcased his exceptional driving skills, leading the pack and crossing the finish line ahead of his competitors.
The victory was not only a personal triumph for De Pasquale but also a significant milestone for Ford. It marked their first win in Townsville since Scott McLaughlin’s triumph in 2020 and the first for the team since Will Davison’s victory at Pukekohe last September. The Ford enthusiasts had been patiently waiting for this moment, and De Pasquale delivered with a stunning performance.
The win itself was nothing short of remarkable, considering De Pasquale’s struggles in the previous day’s race. An electrical drama had forced him out of contention, leaving him disappointed. However, the Shell Ford squad rallied together, working tirelessly overnight to rectify the issues. Their dedication paid off as De Pasquale stepped into a dream-like car on race day.
In a season that has seen multiple winners, De Pasquale joined the elite ranks as the eighth different driver to taste victory in 2023. The Supercars landscape has been unpredictable and thrilling, with various teams taking turns at claiming the top spot. The Shell Ford squad became the sixth different team to celebrate a win in the opening six rounds, further highlighting the competitive nature of the championship.
Reflecting on his triumph, De Pasquale expressed his delight and acknowledged the team’s hard work. “It’s awesome, it’s been an average year so far. The guys worked all night fixing the problems from yesterday,” he said. The victorious driver was full of praise for his team, recognizing their immense effort and contribution to his success. It was a moment of triumph for the entire Shell V-Power Racing Team.
While De Pasquale stole the spotlight, the race also witnessed intense exchanges between Red Bull Ampol Racing teammates Broc Feeney and Shane van Gisbergen. Van Gisbergen, marking his 500th Supercars race, faced a challenging start from the back of the grid due to poor qualifying. However, the defending Supercars Champion showcased his skills, fighting his way through the field. Despite spinning on lap 1, he demonstrated his resilience and determination. In a display of teamwork, van Gisbergen conceded fourth place to his teammate Feeney at the end, solidifying their bond within the team.
With the dust settling, De Pasquale secured victory with a comfortable margin of 5.0692 seconds over Brodie Kostecki, driving for Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet. Kostecki’s impressive performance slashed teammate Will Brown’s championship lead to a mere seven points. The battle for the top spot in the championship promises to be intense as the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight approaches, presenting the first-ever night race between the Gen3 Camaros and Mustangs.
Unfortunately, the race didn’t end on a high note for Chaz Mostert, as a power steering issue forced him to retire on lap 4. It was a disappointing outcome for the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver, marking his second did-not-finish (DNF) of the season. Mostert will be looking to bounce back stronger in the upcoming races and make up lost ground in the championship.
As the championship standings currently stand, Brown from Toowoomba maintains a slender seven-point lead over Kostecki. Feeney and van Gisbergen are not far behind, trailing by 26 and 72 points, respectively. The battle for supremacy is far from settled, and the title contenders will be gearing up for the next round with renewed determination.
Looking ahead, the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Fans can already secure their tickets to witness the thrilling night race at Sydney Motorsport Park. The championship is in full swing, and there’s no doubt that the upcoming race will provide another spectacle of high-speed action and intense competition.