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Catch me if you can for Anton De Pasquale at SMP

It was another case of domination for Shell V-Power Racing’s Anton De Pasquale as he led from first practice to the end of Race 26 in a display of superiority his opponents are yet to match at Sydney Motorsport Park.

It was another masterful performance from De Pasquale as he sealed another race win, leading Race 26 from start-to-finish ahead of Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen and Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown.

Practice 1 was headed by De Pasquale as he set a 1m 29.440s to be 0.307s clear of teammate Will Davison. Brown continued Erebus Motorsport’s strong form in third ahead of Jamie Whincup Whincup, Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert, Cam Waters, Jack Le Brocq, Todd Hazelwood and Andre Heimgartner.

The following practice session was again topped by De Pasquale ahead of van Gisbergen this time by 0.104s after lowering his time to a 1m 29.287s.

Brodie Kostecki was third ahead of Davison, Brown, Mostert, Le Brocq, Waters, Whincup and Bryce Fullwood.

In the three-phase knockout Race 26 Qualifying session, De Pasquale continued his clean sheet at the top of the standings to dip into the 1m 28s bracket, finishing with a 0.343s margin back to Whincup.

Last weekend’s sparring partners van Gisbergen and Davison shared the second row ahead of Brown alongside the ever improving Mostert.

Kostecki, Percat, Waters and Hazelwood completed the top 10.

Having not made a wrong step so far, De Pasquale continued this in Race 26 by making the perfect start, while Whincup bogged down and instantly defended from Davison, sending both close to the pit wall.

With all the action happening in front van Gisbergen tried to take advantage, but was only able to slot into third at the expense of Davison.

Further in the pack, James Courtney was spun after contact with Scott Pye and Slade exiting Turn 1, but was able to continue.

The pit stop game was interesting as Red Bull Ampol Racing bought Whincup in early and it bore fruit as when De Pasquale pitted for four new tyres, he emerged in front. But this changed at Turn 8 when the Shell V-Power Racing Ford Mustang completed a move on the exit.

Van Gisbergen pitted for two tyres and emerged in front of De Pasquale, but he performed a replica move on the championship leader to take the effective lead.

However, the race was neutralised when an electrical problem for Fullwood forced him to stop at Turn 3.

Known for his inside manoeuvres on restarts, van Gisbergen was immediately blocked by De Pasquale as chaos reigned supreme in the mid-pack.

Hazelwood, Le Brocq, Waters, Brown, Kostecki, Pye and Winterbottom were all battling, but it culminated in the two Tickford Racing drivers colliding at Turn 8, sending the Monster Ford Mustang into the outside wall.

De Pasquale was unworried taking another win from van Gisbergen and Brown, who overtook Whincup in the closing stages to snatch a podium after Kostecki allowed him through to attack the seven-time Repco Supercars champion.

Behind Kostecki in fifth was Pye after climbing seven positions, Davison, Zane Goddard was another charger improving 10 spots ahead of Slade and Heimgartner.

Tomorrow’s action starts at 11:45am AEDT with Race 27 Qualifying.