Motor Sports - Supercars - June 21, 2021

Mustang Runs Hot In The Top End

Ford Mustangs were the cars to beat at Hidden Valley in the Top End during three days of torrid action in the Repco Supercars Championship.

Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison, whose Shell V-Power Mustangs wore a special indigenous livery for the weekend, shared the pole positions for each 38-lap race.

Their efforts meant that Ford Mustangs have now started at the head of the field for the past five races. Davison’s Sunday qualifying efforts saw him set the two fastest ever Supercars lap times around the Hidden Valley circuit.

In front of a 38,000-strong crowd in Darwin, Davison and De Pasquale also bagged podium places and were joined by Cam Waters in leading celebrations for the Ford fighters.

Veteran James Courtney had a solid weekend in his Boost Mustang, culminating in a fifth place in the final sprint, while youngster Tom Randle starred in a Wildcard entry with Tickford Racing.

Randle has also been confirmed as a full-time Supercars racer as Tickford moves back to a four-car operation for season 2022.

“It was great to see our Mustang teams back up the strong pace they showed at The Bend last month with an excellent showing in Darwin,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “Anton and Will had sensational pace in qualifying, and while Anton had some very bad luck in the opening race of the weekend, we still saw Mustangs on the podium in all three races. It was a welcome return to both pole position and the podium for Will Davison, so particular congratulations to him.”

“I was extremely proud of the way our teams fought all weekend long, and was very impressed by Tom Randle, who demonstrated that he’s a star of the future in his second wildcard outing of the year. We’re very pleased to hear that he will be joining the grid full time in 2022. Well done to Tickford Racing and Shell V-Power Racing team on their podium finishes, and I am looking forward to seeing what our Mustangs can do in Townsville in a few weeks.”

The Supercars championship now heads to Townsville in far north Queensland for the NTI Townsville 500 from 9-11 July.

Ben Croke, Dick Johnson Racing

  • “It was a solid weekend, with good pace but a few little mistakes. We’ve now had five pole positions in a row and only one win, but we’re still learning with two new drivers this year.
  • “I’m happy with our speed. It would have been nice to have converted one of the pole positions this weekend into a win, but a pair of seconds is good and we’ll take that and move on. We know the wins are coming.”

Todd Kelly, Kelly Grove Racing

  • “Sometimes you have weekends like this one. We just missed the boat. We spent the weekend fishing around for the right set-up but never found it.
  • “But I’m really happy with the pitstops. We had a couple of blokes who joined us, who had only been practising out at the station in Mildura, and they nailed all that.”

Tim Edwards, Tickford Racing

  • “The results weren’t what we wanted, but it wasn’t a bad weekend. Not bad at all.”
  • “Cam Waters battled to get the car the way he wanted it, but he got one podium. James Courtney did really well with a strong weekend, just off the podium a couple of times.”
  • “There was great driving from young Tom Randle, and getting into the Top 10 as a Wildcard start was a fantastic result, but I lost count of the number of times Jack Le Brocq got punted off the road.”
  • “The track really didn’t suit us but, at the end of the day, we still came away with strong results and reliable cars.”

Tim Blanchard, Blanchard Racing Team

  • “We just need to qualify better. We were able to move forward in each race and that was encouraging.”
  • “I think we had a good car with two finishes in the Top 10 for Tim Slade, and we would have had a third if not for some damage in the second race.”
  • “It’s another weekend done and the whole crew continues to learn and improve.”

Championship standings:

  • Will Davison: 4th
  • Cam Waters: 5th
  • Anton de Pasquale: 8th
  • James Courtney: 9th
  • Andre Heimgartner: 12th
  • David Reynolds: 15th
  • Jack Le Brocq: 16th
  • Tim Slade: 18th
  • Thomas Randle: 25th