Penrite Racing’s Anton De Pasquale has credited his blossoming working relationship with engineer Mirko De Rosa for the progress he has made this year.
Right from his 2018 rookie season, it was clear the #99 driver had raw pace in spades.
The ability to convert that into race results always seemed to be the question, but De Pasquale has come along in leaps and bounds this year.
If it wasn’t for two DNFs this year outside of his control, De Pasquale would likely be sitting inside the championship’s top 10, and – for the first time – ahead of renowned teammate David Reynolds.
De Pasquale last month took his maiden Supercars win in Darwin but just as important was the consistency he displayed through the four back-to-back rounds in the nation’s north.
Across the 12 races at Darwin and Townsville, De Pasquale started 10 inside the top 10 and converted that into eight top 10 finishes – all done despite the team seeming to lack some of their usual pace.
De Pasquale was quick to credit De Rosa, who is also of Italian heritage.
“When we first started together, we both had a lot to learn and to prove to other people that we could do it, but at the same time we were both pretty patient in that we weren’t going to get better overnight,” said the 25-year-old.
“Once we worked out that we were both had the same attitude, we both worked really hard to achieve goals together which has been pretty cool, so we have ticked off a few now but we still have a lot to go.
“Every time we go to the track we have more tools in our toolbox and naturally things start to happen a bit quicker.
“Our race pace is now one of our strengths which it hasn’t been before, so we’ve worked well on weaker areas to make them better."
As they return to the site of a 2019 De Pasquale podium – The Bend Motorsport Park – De Rosa hailed two core pillars behind their shared success.
“We have built a really solid relationship based on honesty and trust,” he said.
“It’s like any relationship, without those two components, what is the point? If he didn’t trust me or I didn’t trust him then how can we work together to make the car go faster? We trust the other’s opinion.
“We are both pretty straight forward and to the point and don’t gloss over things, we try to solve any issues as quick as possible and move on.
“I think that is 100 percent one of our strengths. We relate well to each other. We don’t cover anything up.
“Anton has a lot of talent and skill driving the car, but just as importantly, he is honest which helps a lot. He knows what he wants, he wants to be the best, he does everything he can to achieve the goal.”
The Bend will host the Repco SuperSprint this weekend.