Andrew van Leeuwen

Polesitter Davison did enough to hold onto the lead at the first corner, only for De Pasquale to get a better run through the sweeping Turns 2, 3 and 4.

That set him up for a passing move into Turn 5, the two Shell Fords making light contact as De Pasquale grabbed the lead.

They ran in formation across the first stint, while van Gisbergen swiftly cleared Andre Heimgartner to settle into third.

The DJR cars served their stops for two tyres on Lap 18 (Davison) and 19 (De Pasquale) before resuming in the same order as before the stops.

Van Gisbergen then opted to run long, holding out until Lap 23 before taking a longer service for three new tyres.

The stop proved to be even longer than expected, an issue on the left-rear delaying the Kiwi as he rejoined back in seventh.

He did, however, have a significant grip advantage and wasted little time passing the likes of Scott Pye, Broc Feeney and Heimgartner.

With five laps to go van Gisbergen slipped past Chaz Mostert to reclaim third place, with leader De Pasquale less than three seconds down the road.

Two laps later he was all over the back of second-placed Davison, but that was as far as he could go. Davison’s defence was robust enough to keep the Red Bull Holden at bay, and secure an eighth career victory for De Pasquale.

“It’s awesome. It’s always good to get a one-two,” said De Pasquale.

“We came pretty close down at Turn 5 but we all came out the other side.

“Shane was coming pretty hard on the three tyres so I had to pick up the pace a little bit at the end. He made us work for it.”

Mostert came home fourth from Heimgartner, while Mark Winterbottom ran long to jump teammate Scott Pye for sixth.

Cam Waters was the best-placed Tickford car in eighth while Feeney used an extreme undercut to good effect to bag ninth.

Darwin local Bryce Fullwood ran seventh for most of the first stint, but did so nursing a 15-second time penalty for punting David Reynolds off the track at the last corner on Lap 2. He served the penalty during his Lap 12 stop which dropped him down to 19th at the finish.

Chris Pither’s hopes of converting his excellent qualifying performance of 11th into a race results were short-lived. The Kiwi was hit by Will Brown at Turn 5 on Lap 3 which sent both cars off the road.

Pither was able to get going again after a quick stop for repairs but could only finish 24th. Brown, meanwhile, limped back to the pits with a bent steering arm and didn’t get back out.

Van Gisbergen continues to lead the series with a 272-point advantage over De Pasquale.

The Darwin Triple Crown continues with a pair of back-to-back qualifying sessions starting at 8:35am local time tomorrow.

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