Anton De Pasquale hits back in Supercars

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Intense preparation to raise his game during Supercars' COVID-enforced hiatus has reaped massive rewards for Ford's Anton De Pasquale.

The Shell V-Power Racing star had a near-perfect weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park as he claimed all three pole positions and won two of the three races in the first championship event since June.

The only blemish for De Pasquale was a forgettable effort in Sunday's first 32-lap race where he bogged his Mustang on the line to drop back in the pack before being disqualified after the race.

Stewards discovered one of the tyres fitted to De Pasquale's Mustang had been allocated to teammate Will Davison and subsequently the 26-year-old was excluded from the race.

Rather than letting that disappointment derail him, De Pasquale bounced back perfectly to claim a wire-to-wire win in Sunday's second race, holding off Erebus youngster Will Brown to secure his third victory of the season.

It's an important weekend for the man who has had to shoulder the burden of filling Scott McLaughlin's seat following the three-time champion's switch to IndyCars.

"We've had a big think about it. I've been obviously in the workshop almost every day ... not talking about too much but just sort of being involved trying to think about how I can do it better myself," De Pasquale told Fox Sports.

"I know the guys are working every day as hard as they can to make our cars as fast as they can.

"Our cars getting out of the truck is the best I've had and that's meant I've been able to push harder and just give them a little bit of feedback.

"We sort of stayed in this little window all weekend and that's what you need to do to be fast consistently.

"That way I can work on myself and drive the car how I want which is nice and hard."

The return to racing was also a good one for championship leader Shane Van Gisbergen.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing star has extended his advantage of teammate Jamie Whincup to 338 points after the weekend and took advantage of De Pasquale's second-race mishap and a misfortune to Will Davison to win Sunday's early race.

De Pasquale's teammate Davison looked set to end a wait for a race win stretching back to 2016 before an electrical failure allowed Van Gisbergen to pounce in pitlane and claim the 12th win of his dominant season.

"We do have a big lead but it's not done yet," Van Gisbergen said of his title ambitions.

"We have to make sure everyone knows we're here to win races and not just collect points.

"There's a long way to go before we start thinking about that. I'm here to have a crack."

The Supercars championship returns to Sydney Motorsport Park next weekend for the second of four consecutive events at the venue before the season-ending Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama in December.

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