Penrite Racing’s young pair Anton De Pasquale and Will Brown have made a remarkable comeback to 10th after dropping to the back of the field on the opening lap.
Teammates David Reynolds and Luke Youlden didn’t have the same luck though, with a clash on lap 30 taking them out of the race.
At the start Luke made a superb get away and was past Alex Davison for third before they reached turn one.
Will, onboard the #99 Holden, didn’t get away so well and stalled on the start line, sending him back to the rear of field. He was quick to redeem himself though, moving up two spots by the end of the next lap.
Luke’s luck turned on lap 3 when wild card Jake Kostecki helped him off the track at Turn 9 to 10th.
The #9 racer exchanged one spot to 9th before pitting at the end of lap 22 and re-joining the field.
Luke was making moves forward and on lap 31 tried to power past Dale Wood and Chris Pither through the exit of Turn 3.
He went to the left to overtake Wood, who was trying to overtake Pither and subsequently the two clashed. The collision brought out the Safety Car and though the Penrite Holden was able to make its way back to the garage, it was unable to return.
Under the caution Will pit for a splash and dash, re-joining 11th before the restart on lap 36.
He immediately launched a brilliant move on Jake Kostecki and Tim Blanchard before another brave one on James Moffat along the front straight for P8.
On 19-lap old tyres, reports of a delaminated right-front wheel forced the #99 into pitlane for an unscheduled stop and mandated that the team swap from a three-stop strategy to a four.
Four laps too short of his minimum driver laps, Will continued on to complete more laps than anyone else from the weekend, and running until the end of lap 81.
A final stop on lap 121 with 40 laps to go would see Anton through for their run to the checkered flag.
A huge moment for Anton saw him side-by-side with Andre Heimgartner at the Esses and forced wide across the marbles, though the young charger was able to catch it and gather up 10tbefore the finish line.
LUKE YOULDEN: Started 3rd, DNF
“I was happy with my start’ I wasn’t sure what happened to the guys near me, but I had a lot of space, so I settled in behind the two in front quite well. It took a little while for the tyres to come up like yesterday, though I was trucking along OK. Kostecki karted me off, I’m not sure why he didn’t get a penalty for that, and that obviously put us back. I still found some rhythm and had some good battles before pitting. We re-joined in an awkward position and had to pass a few cars and then got caught up with Dale. I was doing my best to get through the guys, had a really good run on him, got almost beside and he ran me out of road; and he got squeezed out of road too which I couldn’t see. Unfortunately, it was too damaged to continue.
“Who knows what we could have done this weekend if things had have gone our way, but our cars were good enough to be somewhere around the top. For one reason or another things haven’t gone particularly my way, I am happy with how I am driving but it’s been a tough season, though it was still good to come away from this endurance season with a surfboard at the Gold Coast.”
WILL BROWN: Started 12th, Finished 10th
“I ballsed the start up, I tried something different to what I did yesterday, and the light caught me out turning off a lot quicker. I think we did quite a good job with pace and getting back up there after falling back. I handed the car over to Anton around 8thand overall it was a positive weekend for us. We showed strong pace and would have loved to put something together and shown what we are made of. There have been issues at each round but I’ve felt like we have been quick enough to get on the podium.
ANTON DE PASQUALE: Started 12th, Finished 10th”
“We finished 10th which considering everything is OK but ultimately it’s not ideal. We basically started last which put us on the back foot and we had a lot of hard work to do. We got a bit of luck with Dave and Luke’s unfortunate incident, bringing out the Safety Car, which put us in a position where we had a good amount of fuel over people that had already pitted. Will shredded a tyre which forced him into an earlier pit stop and changed our race plan and put us on the backfoot again.
“A top ten isn’t too bad, and what we always aim for, but we had one of the faster cars all weekend, and definitely had a car good enough for the podium it just didn’t go our way unfortunately.”