Penrite Racing’s Anton De Pasquale says he is relishing the opportunity for back-to-back events at Sydney Motorsport Park, which is something they usually need to wait 12 months for.
With an unprecedented situation – due to COVID-19 – the Supercars will roll out to race on the same track consecutively for the first time ever.
In addition to the western Sydney track lighting up with its first night race since 2018 and the change of tyre allocations, the questions of gamesmanship and strategy will be at the forefront.
De Pasquale knows that whilst all teams obviously head in with a plan, all eyes will be on each other as team’s navigate the landscape.
“There will be a strategy when it comes to tyres with the changes from last time we raced here, but that strategy won’t be something locked in place today,” De Pasquale said.
“We will be as prepared we can, but it will probably evolve during practice as teams work out what’s best, and to be honest, I think those decisions will probably be influenced by what everyone else does.
“I think a lot of it will be on the fly, a lot of risk versus reward scenario, which will make it really interesting and should make for really good racing. The risk takers may be the heroes or completely blow it, but that’s sport and that’s what we love about it.”
Unlike last time, this weekend will see two different tyre compounds used – with each team allocated two sets of softs and three sets of hards.
“We have the freedom to choose what we want to do with tyres – we have two sets of soft tyres which are the faster tyre, but we have three races and one set of softs don’t last one race as it is,” De Pasquale said.
“Using your softs is what will help you get a better result, but you need to use them at the right time and that decision is part of a bigger strategy.”
Like all Victorian competitors, De Pasquale made a dash for the border the moment all teams were alerted to the closures and will be putting his best foot forward this weekend.
“The upside is, we have had a chance to learn from the last round and obviously the guys who were fastest last time will be fast again this time,” he said.
“Knowing we are heading back to SMSP has given anyone who was a little off the pace last time to have had a few weeks to think about it, tune up the car and give it another crack with some data behind them.
“Usually you have to wait 12 months to come back and implement things you learnt, so it’s a rare opportunity and something we’ll make the most of.”
De Pasquale and team-mate David Reynolds head into this weekend’s racing off the back of a solid outing in Sydney with Anton recording two top 10 finishes and David a fourth and fifth from three races.
The weekend’s Supercar action begins on Saturday morning with Practice at 11.45am. Further practice and qualifying will continue throughout the day with the night race starting at 6.25pm. Sunday’s two races will start at 12.25pm and 2.50pm respectively.