IT’S A long way from the fertile fields of Werribee South to the bitumen of Bathurst but local Supercars star Anton de Pasquale is primed to become the latest ‘King of the Mountain’.
But if he does conquer the iconic 1000km race his parents won’t be there to witness the achievement.
Melbourne’s coronavirus restrictions have prevented Michelle and Sam de Pasquale from making their annual pilgrimage to Mount Panorama, instead they’ll be confined to the couch in the loungeroom of their family farm.
“We’ll just put on the tv, have our own little barbie and FaceTime with our friends because they’ll be watching too,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
“We’ll do the cheese and the platter… we’ll still celebrate but it’s just not the same because we’ll miss the atmosphere.”
This year will mark Anton’s third attempt at V8’s Holy Grail and it’s his best chance of success yet.
Earlier in the season the 25-year-old broke through for his maiden Supercars race win and he’s on track for a career-high finish in the Championship. The Holden driver is currently 8th in the standings with Bathurst doubling as the final race of the truncated season.
“He’s had quite a few podiums this year and we haven’t been there so we just high five at home. You miss all that but he’s doing what he loves,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
Anton and his Penrite Racing teammates made an eleventh-hour dash across the border into NSW in July as the sport scrambled to evade border restrictions and keep the season alive. He has been living out of a suitcase since.
“Even though he’s not home all the time because he’s racing, it’s strange without him. The dogs are always looking for him and stuff like that, we do miss him,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
The family’s artichoke and cauliflower production also misses the extra set of hands.
“His racing comes first and the drivers don’t have a lot of free time but if we do need him he will always get out there and help,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
For now Anton has a bigger job at hand – securing the Peter Brock Trophy alongside co-driver and great mate Brodie Kostecki.
“I would love them to win,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
“It’s emotional because everyone works so hard so to see them get that reward for all the effort they put in, that’s what you get emotional for.
“It would be an amazing reward for the team because they’ve been on the road as well and have kids and stuff. It’d be the icing on the 2020 cake.”
And should he swap the red soil of home for champagne this Sunday – the waterworks will flow in Werribee.
“Definitely,” Mrs de Pasquale said.
“He was go-karting at 16 every weekend, he wasn’t going out with his friends, he knows what he wants to be.”
A Bathurst Champion.