The mantra that helped DJR CEO keep the faith

24 Apr
DJR managed to banish the tough moments of the first two rounds to lead the way in New Zealand
3 mins by James Pavey

"You've just got to keep fronting up."

That was the mantra for Shell V-Power Racing Team CEO David Noble, whose team managed to banish the tough moments of the first two rounds to lead the way in New Zealand.

The ITM Taupō Super400 was a weekend to remember for the Ford squad, with Anton De Pasquale winning the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy after two manic races.

Unlike the first two rounds of the season, both Shell Fords rolled out with pace in Friday practice, and Will Davison and De Pasquale converted to a double podium in a wet race on Saturday.

Come Sunday, and both Dick Johnson Racing drivers were in the hunt, with third enough for De Pasquale to win DJR’s first JR Trophy since Scott McLaughlin in 2018.

After two lacklustre rounds, the smiles in the DJR camp were there for all to see, leaving behind the nightmares of poor pace in Bathurst, and De Pasquale’s DNF and DNS in Melbourne.

DJR's fighting spirit was still there for Noble, a Tasmanian who comes from Australian rules football. Despite DJR's hits, the quality would eventually shine through, as it did in New Zealand.

When asked on the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast how DJR kept the faith, Noble replied: "Well, you just got to keep batting in, don't you?

“You've just got to keep fronting up — it helps when you get a good car, you get a good set-up, as you know.

“[De Pasquale] had a DNF and a DNS at the AGP, and he started the first race in P2. So, we thought his form wasn't too bad, but he was really consistent today, both the guys kept the cars pretty clean, particularly Anton today.”

Noble also praised Davison, who claimed his first podium since Darwin last June, but was left “hurting” after slumping to 19th on Sunday.

“We know how much the Jason Richards trophy means to Will. I reckon he came here today thinking he had a really good shot at taking that award,” Noble said.

Team DJR -EV03-24-MH2 1219

“Look, he's a bit flat. Just things just didn't go his way today. We were thinking about the extra stop in the end. We pushed on and left him out there. But, he'll be fine, I still think he's driving really well."

Team Manager Ben Croke reiterated that the team hadn’t always been wide of the mark before Taupō, saying the good moments had been “hidden” behind the bad.

“No secret, the first couple of events probably haven't gone to plan,” Croke on the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

"But, that's not to say we haven't been okay at them. We’ve had some reasonable qualifying at AGP with Anton, and Will was fifth-point scoring car for the weekend.

“But, some of that is probably hidden behind a couple of the other dramas that took us out of races. So, to come here and for both cars to be able to podium yesterday, fast in the dry, fast in the wet, and the JR trophy.

"That'll make anyone smile. It's a special moment to be able to hold that."

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