Erebus Penrite Racing has once again proved the critics wrong at the Bathurst 1000, producing a 1-3 finish in today’s Top Ten Shootout.
David Reynolds produced the fastest time of the afternoon, a 2:04.0589 securing the team’s first ever pole position at Mount Panorama and their third of the season.
Improving last year’s grid position by one place, the #9 driver has put him and co-driver Luke Youlden in the best spot possible to start their Bathurst defence.
De Pasquale was just as much the star performer, sitting atop the leader board right up until his teammate squeezed him in the final moments.
He held provisional pole right up until the final two went out, when the rookie bowed down to the master and Jamie Whincup.
De Pasquale, who not only had his first taste of a Supercar around the mountain this weekend, is also the first rookie to qualify for the Bathurst Shootout since 2002.
The team will line up to defend their title tomorrow morning, with the 2018 Bathurst 1000 beginning at 11:10am local time.
“I am ecstatic. I have been putting pressure on myself all day, I woke up this morning at 4am doing laps in my head. I watched Anton do his lap and I didn’t actually know if I could beat that, I had to be fast. Our cars have been phenomenal since we rolled out of the truck, so it’s a credit to the team. We stuck by our plan, the engineering group did a bang-up job on both of our cars. We are 1-3, it’s an epic day for us. We just need to continue it tomorrow, I’ll take it lap by lap 161 times.”
Anton De Pasquale:
“Third feels really good. Obviously, I got no dry running before qualifying and was quite stressed and still was before the shootout, but I’m feeling more comfortable every lap I do. The cars are really fast, as a team we are in a really good spot and are really happy. It’s difficult being one of the first cars on track, I didn’t know what times were falling around me and how good the track would be, so I just went as quick as I could and was the fastest I’ve been all weekend. After a few guys you start realising how good your time really is and that’s when the stress sunk back in but to end up third, I’ll definitely take that.”