THE SLEUTH’S DARWIN SATURDAY STATS

Anton De Pasquale scored victory in Darwin in Race 13 of the 2020 Championship. Photo: Mark Horsburgh/Supercars.

TODAY’S BetEast Darwin Triple Crown saw Anton De Pasquale score his first ever Supercars Championship race win, in the process writing his name in the history books.

The former Formula Ford champ drove into the record books and became the 80th driver to win an Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship race.

He was also the second first-time winner in as many races given Jack Le Brocq won the last race held in Sydney a month ago.

You have to wind back to 2013 to find a time where two drivers have won their first championship races (in single driver races) in succession when Chaz Mostert won at Queensland Raceway and James Moffat won at Winton.

“It was eventful at the start, I had to barge my way through,” said De Pasquale post-race, who led home James Courtney to score Erebus’ first win since Newcastle 2018.

“The Safety Car came early and that through everything up on the air.”

The win was also the first for a car #99 in the history of the ATCC/Supercars Championship.

Courtney, meanwhile, scored his first podium since Bathurst last year but his first in a single driver race since Symmons Plains 2018.

You have to go back to Sandown 2010 to find his last podium finish in a Ford and he’s also broken a streak for car #44 – it last scored a podium in the championship at Oran Park in 1986 with John Bowe aboard a Volvo 240 Turbo!

James Courtney celebrates his win at Sandown in 2010 – it’s been nearly 10 years between podium visits for him in a Ford! Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley.

Third-placed Scott Pye was another to give his car number its first podium in a long time – the last time car #20 finished on the podium in the championship was Oran Park 1992 (Alan Jones in the B&H BMW M3).

The podium finish came after third-over-the-line Jamie Whincup received a post-race 15 second time penalty for an unsafe pit release.

Pye’s podium finish gave Team 18 just its second-ever podium result – its only previous one came way back at Phillip Island in 2013 when Charlie Schwerkolt engaged Ford Performance Racing to run a Falcon on his behalf with Alex Davison at the helm.

The Supercars will be back on track at Hidden Valley Raceway tomorrow with two more qualifying sessions and a pair of 38 lap races.

The last podium in the championship for car #20 before Darwin 2020 – Alan Jones, 1992 Oran Park. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.
With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.