The Bend Supercars: De Pasquale takes first Ford win

Anton De Pasquale converted pole position into a first Supercars race win in a Ford Mustang at The Bend.

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:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Ford Mustang GT
2 17 Australia Will Davison
Ford Mustang GT 0.947
3 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 1.433
4 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 6.449
5 99 Brodie Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 7.643
6 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 8.175
7 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 13.994
8 55 Australia Thomas Randle
Ford Mustang GT 14.419
9 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 15.213
10 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 17.181
11 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 17.517
12 5 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 22.711
13 9 Australia Will Brown
Holden Commodore ZB 24.024
14 22 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 24.924
15 3 Australia Tim Slade
Ford Mustang GT 25.161
16 27 Australia Kurt Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 25.474
17 8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 27.478
18 34 Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 28.315
19 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 38.325
20 35 Australia Zane Goddard
Holden Commodore ZB 40.317
21 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 52.388
22 26 Australia David Reynolds
Ford Mustang GT 3 Laps
19 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Holden Commodore ZB 1 Lap
25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 20 Laps
6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 23 Laps
96 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 23 Laps
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