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Dick Johnson Racing’s blunt Bathurst 500 assessment

“THERE is obviously plenty of room for improvement because we’re not where we want, and need, to be.”

That’s the assessment of Dick Johnson Racing’s Ryan Story after it left the Thrifty Bathurst 500 sitting 10th in the 2024 Supercars teams’ championship.

There was more reason to smile than Round 1 last year at Newcastle, with Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison both flashing decent speed in qualifying and the latter hanging on for a gritty top 10 finish yesterday.

DJR too has some degree of legitimate excuses after focusing its off-season on its duties as the Ford homologation team, and leading a revamped engine program, but its on-track results still underwhelmed.

“We seem to have reasonable one-lap pace but there is still a lot to learn about how we manage a race over the stints,” said Story.

“We did a huge amount of work in the off-season and it’s good to be racing, but there is still a huge amount of work still to be done.”

MORE: Supercars’ updated provisional pitlane order

The difference between qualifying and racing performance was particularly evident for De Pasquale, who slipped from starting ninth to finishing 21st on Saturday and from 10th to 15th yesterday.

“It’s been a mixed weekend for us,” said the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang driver.

Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison transit the Bathurst pitlane. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

“Some good qualifying on my side of the garage and some really poor race results which is never the plan… looking forward to the Grand Prix next and also looking ahead on how we fix our issues from the weekend.”

For Davison, there was at least day-on-day progress, moving into the top 10 yesterday after an uncompetitive Saturday.

“Still a disappointing day, but after the struggles of Saturday it’s very rare you find absolute magic overnight,” said the veteran.

“The team worked really late last night and we made some good solid gains, not enough, but enough to be in the Shootout.

“We definitely took some steps forward with our changes, which is all you can ask for in a short space of time.”

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