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D’Alberto on special Bathurst result, DJR ‘family’

TONY D’Alberto’s return to Mount Panorama for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International comes merely a month after one of the most special results of his career.

The 37-year-old combined with Dick Johnson Racing’s Anton De Pasquale to take third in the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000, finishing as the top Ford at an event somewhat overshadowed by parity debates.

As has been well-documented, Ford pushed for aerodynamic upgrades prior to the Great Race but were knocked back. Those tweaks were eventually made post-race and helped set up a Mustang sweep of the recent Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.

It’s those circumstances which made reaching the Bathurst 1000 rostrum – for the second time – extra special for D’Alberto, who’ll again race at the hallowed circuit this weekend in his new Honda Civic TCR.

“Without getting into parity talk, it’s obvious the Camaro has won more races this year than the Mustang, so to actually beat some really good guys in Camaros on the day, I just felt we got everything out of the Mustang,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“Just to grab another podium for the team, I have been there for a long time now, and it’s just nice to repay them a little bit.”

Indeed, D’Alberto has now been part of the furniture at DJR since 2016, and it’s widely expected he’ll be back next year for a ninth successive enduro campaign with the Stapylton squad.

“I definitely want to stay there, there’s no doubt,” he noted.

“They are like a family to me and they back me up and give me all the support I need to do my job. I think Anton is happy, so I can’t see there being a change.”

Tony D’Alberto in action at the Sydney TCR round last weekend. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

It was at last year’s Bathurst International that D’Alberto clinched the 2022 TCR Australia crown.

His title defence has been headlined by a Sandown race win and a shift to the latest-spec Honda before last week’s Race Sydney.

He holds fourth overall, with Hyundai’s Bailey Sweeny and Josh Buchan poised to duke it out for the 2023 gong.

With the TCR World Tour still in town, 24 cars have been entered for this weekend.

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