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Darwin Supercars: Mostert wins thrilling finale

Darwin Supercars: Mostert wins thrilling finale

De Pasquale got the jump on Will Davison from the outside of the front row at the start to bank track position for the opening stint.

The two Shell Fords then ran in formation with a little under a second separating them.

Behind them it was initially Cam Waters who sat in third, however the Tickford driver was passed by Shane van Gisbergen at Turn 6 on Lap 17.

On Lap 19 De Pasquale pitted from the lead, however he didn’t resume in the effective lead. That instead went to Chaz Mostert, who had pitted 10 laps earlier for just two new tyres and pulled off a massive undercut to go from sixth to the lead.

Mostert’s gamble looked to have hit a serious snag on Lap 26 when Garry Jacobson and Zak Best tangled and Best ended up in the wall on the outside of Turn 6.

The resulting Safety Car should have left Mostert as a sitting duck, with De Pasquale and his three new tyres, and Will Davison on four new tyres taken on Lap 23, right behind him.

Davison was best-placed for the Lap 31 restart based on tyre condition, however the veteran was slow away when the race went green.

That let van Gisbergen get under him into Turn 1, the pair making contact as Davison was escorted wide.

Davison slipped back to fifth while van Gisbergen picked up damage and dropped all the way back to 21st. He was also slapped with a 15-second time penalty for his efforts, which meant the series leader was classified dead last.

That left De Pasquale as the sole challenger to Mostert and his ailing rubber, but try as De Pasquale might there was no way through, as the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver held on for a famous win.

“There’s no worse mentality than going into a safety car knowing everyone has fresher tyres than you,” said Mostert. “Not just two, but four.

“Ripper effort by the team, we went super aggressive. The [car] somehow just hung on. I kept Anton just at bay, I had nothing left.”

The win comes amid what’s been a difficult weekend for WAU and Mostert, who was disqualified from two session, one of which was yesterday’s opening race.

De Pasquale’s aggressive measures to try and get through Mostert late in the race saw Cam Waters almost sneak through for second.

The two Ford drivers ended up drag racing to the finish line, De Pasquale just holding on ahead of his Tickford rival.

Given van Gisbergen’s woes, the second place has helped De Pasquale close the points gap to the Kiwi to 214.

Davison finished fourth ahead of a fast-finishing Andre Heimgartner, Broc Feeney and Will Brown.

Jake Kostecki was eighth, Mark Winterbottom ninth and Nick Percat 10th in the second WAU entry.

James Courtney was a surprise appearance on the grid after his Mustang was badly damaged in today’s earlier race.

The Tickford Racing crew put in a rapid shift between races to repair the car, only for it to cop more bonnet damage early in this race.

Still he was able to come home 19th.

Scott Pye’s car, which was also damaged in the Courtney crash, unfortunately couldn’t be repaired in time to take part in the race.

The 2022 Supercars season continues with the Townsville 500 on July 8-10.

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