DJR's relief in De Pasquale breakthrough win

09 Jul 2023
'We showed we can still win'

Shell V-Power Racing Team Principal Ben Croke has hailed Anton De Pasquale’s Townsville win relief, but ceded there’s more work to be done.

De Pasquale broke through on Sunday to win the NTI Townsville 500 finale, with Ford scoring its first win since March.

Given the Triple Eight disqualifications, De Pasquale was the first Ford driver to cross the line first and win a race this season.

It was welcome return given De Pasquale retired on Saturday due to electrical dramas. In 15 previous starts in 2023, he finished no better than fifth, and was 20th in the points.

For De Pasquale himself, it was almost redemption for his late clash with Shane van Gisbergen in the 2022 Townsville finale.

Dick Johnson Racing hadn't won since Will Davison powered to victory in New Zealand last September, 25 starts ago.


For Croke, Sunday’s win was mere relief after a start to the season to forget. Just once — Will Davison in Darwin — had a Shell Ford finished in the top three prior to Townsville.

However, despite the win, Croke ceded there’s more to do as the Ford teams grapple with the new aerodynamic changes to the Gen3 Mustangs.

"A good day for the team, a good day for the Mustang, and a good day for Ford to be the first to cross the line this year,” Croke said.

"What a relief. We showed we can still win. We remembered how to do it today.

"We turned up with new parts on the car, limited practice time, and with so much to learn. We got Anton's car pretty good for Sunday and made the best of what we had on Saturday.

"But one sunny day doesn't mean it is summer. There is still a long way to go and a lot of work to do. We have to re-focus on learning the car the way it is now."

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight on July 28-30. Tickets are on sale now.

Related News