He was one of the best rookies on the grid in 2018 and made his mark in Supercars in an Erebus team who enjoyed their best season since joining the series. With a strong debut season now behind him, Erebus driver Anton de Pasquale heads into 2019 safe in the knowledge that he has the car and talent to be keeping the top of the field honest. I put my questions to Anton in this edition of Question Time.
What is your first Supercars memory?
My first Supercars memory would be my first time driving one at Queensland Raceway with Paul Morris Motorsport. It was my first time driving a touring car coming from open wheelers and it was where I started my Supercars journey.
What’s your favourite race track, both in Australia and worldwide?
My favourite Australian circuit has to be Bathurst. But in terms of worldwide, it’s between Zandvoort in the Netherlands and Nurburgring.
What other motorsport series do you follow?
I like to watch all the categories on the Supercars weekend when there is time to do so. But in general, I’ll follow all motorsports from MotoGP to watching a random race on Fox somewhere in the world!
Tell me a little bit about your background, and how you ended driving for Erebus in 2018.
It’s funny how it worked out actually. Because I didn’t get a co-drive for the Enduros, I was eligible to do an evaluation day with Erebus in 2017. It was a successful day for myself and the team, and from then on we stayed in touch. When a drive became available at the tail end of 2017 I was lucky enough to be the one who got it.
You drove the Falcon FG and the Falcon FG X in Super2 before switching to the ZB Commodore in Supercars. What are the biggest differences between the two, did you have trouble adapting to the Commodore at first?
There are a few differences such as twin springs and the soft tyre which aren’t allowed in Super2. But to drive the car fast wasn’t too much of an adjustment. It was more so improving my driving, and working out the strengths of the Erebus car. But every day I drove it felt more comfortable in the car.
From the sidelines it was awesome, but what are your thoughts on your rookie year? How did it go versus your expectations?
My rookie year was awesome! To be able to join the category was a dream come true. In terms of results, there were a lot of really amazing results and a few really disappointing ones. But overall for my first year, I’m happy, but I’m also looking ahead to get the best out of it for 2019.
What do you think your best race of 2018 was?
Although the result wasn’t a good one, the whole event and speed at Bathurst made it my favourite race of the year. We were one of the quickest cars but with how everything unfolded, unfortunately we didn’t get the result the team deserved.
What do you get up to in the off-season before testing and Adelaide?
During the break, I’ll be helping out my dad on the farm as it’s the busiest time of the year for him. Also, I’ll be sticking to a training plan with my trainer to be ready for Adelaide and trying to enjoy the summer in Melbourne as much as possible!
You showed awesome qualifying speed this year, and your 3rd on the grid at Bathurst was sensational. What areas are you looking to most for improvement in 2019?
Pretty much exactly that. Turning my strong qualifying results into strong race results is going to be a key thing to work on throughout the year.
What was it like driving alongside David Reynolds, what’s your relationship like with him?
It was awesome being alongside Dave. He had his best year with the Erebus and probably in the category, so to be able to feed off that and learn off that was really great. Also as a guy to work with he is really easy going and an all-round great dude.
What are your hopes heading into 2019? Have you got a target position in the table at the end of the season?
Heading into 2019 there isn’t a set position I’m eyeing up. But at the same time, I aim to be in the top 10 for most of the races as well as fighting for podiums when we have the speed to do it.