The Bend Supercars: De Pasquale takes first Ford win

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The 25-year-old put in a controlled drive to score a second career win and first since shifting to the famous Dick Johnson Racing squad.

He was joined on the podium by teammate Will Davison and series leader Shane van Gisbergen. 

The race got off to a spectacular start with a multi-car clash at Turn 6.

The drama started when Andre Heimgartner ran Tim Slade wide, Slade then spooking Chaz Mostert as he bounced off the exit kerb.

As Mostert moved left he tagged old foe Cam Waters, tearing the back right out of the Monster Mustang.

Waters and Mostert both limped back to the pits, the former done for the day while the latter did get back out to at least bank a few points.

Behind them there was more contact, David Reynolds tipping Nick Percat into a spin. 

Out front De Pasquale quickly pulled a small gap over teammate Will Davison and Andre Heimgartner, although he threw his early advantage away on Lap 3 when he locked up on the way into Turn 1.

He was lucky to hold on to the lead, De Pasquale re-establishing a one-second gap before pitting on Lap 7.

Davison opted to run a bit longer, emerging from his Lap 11 service behind an early-stopping James Courtney.

He cleared Courtney three laps later before closing up on the back of De Pasquale.

The two DJR cars didn’t have things all their own way, though, with Shane van Gisbergen becoming a factor as the race wore on.

Starting outside the Top 10 the Kiwi had made remarkable progress early in the race as he dodged the madness around him, before going for a very long first stint.

He finally stopped on Lap 16, popping out in third before using his superior tyre condition to run down the Shell Fords.

Van Gisbergen’s speed was ultimately a reprieve for De Pasquale as Davison was forced to go defensive in the closing laps.

That left the leader free to charge to a 1s win, his first in a Mustang and Ford’s 400th in Supercars. 

“We know how much that means to all the fans,” said De Pasquale. 

“We’ve got massive support behind me and Will. I’m loving that and loving racing for the Shell V-Power Racing guys. 

“They’ve given me a good car. We’ve got a one-two. It’s pretty cool, it’s a cool day.”

Davison held on for second as van Gisbergen settled for third ahead of James Courtney.

Brodie Kostecki, who was part of the Reynolds/Percat clash on the first lap, came home fifth ahead of Bryce Fullwood.

Race 1 winner Heimgartner finished seventh, having fallen out of contention for a podium when he stalled on his way out of his pit bay.

Wildcard entrant Thomas Randle was an impressive eighth ahead of Team 18 pair Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye.

Jamie Whincup was just 11th which means van Gisbergen’s series lead is out 178 points.

Results to follow

 

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