Two new stars join V8 super team
Anton de Pasquale has boldly declared he can become the next Supercar king after being signed by Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) as Scott McLaughlin's replacement.
In his first interview since signing a deal to drive Australia's fastest Ford, de Pasquale vowed to create his own V8 legacy after beating out every driver in the sport to win the dream drive with DJR.
De Pasquale will on Friday be announced as Scott McLaughlin's replacement at DJR after the three-time champion quit Australia to chase an Indy Car dream in the US with Team Penske.
"It has been exciting start to my career and I am in a position now where I can move into the championship winning team," de Pasquale said.
"To get that opportunity early in my career is something I am very excited about. I now have the opportunity to come into a team that is regularly winning races."
Despite having just one race win to his name and three full years in the sport, De Pasquale has been anointed as the successor to McLaughlin's throne after being head hunted by DJR for the role.
Following in McLaughlin's footsteps holds no fears for the former Erebus driver with de Pasquale confident of helping DJR to what would be a fourth straight crown.
"I guess you never know until you do it but I am not daunted by the pressure," de Pasquale said.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve and I am confident of having success. I have to believe in myself and I am pretty excited about having that pressure (of living up to McLaughlin). I have a good team and I just need to step up to the plate."
A former Formula Ford champion who was blooded by Erebus Motorsport in 2018, de Pasquale has been catapulted into championship contention following the dream-making deal.
"I am going into a team that has done it for the last three years," de Pasquale said.
"Almost four years in a row so winning a championship next year is certainly realistic. I just have to find it in myself to work with the team and adapt to the new environment really quickly. I don't think that will be too hard."
De Pasquale also thanked his former team ahead of his switch from the Commodore to the Mustang.
"You hold fond memories of where you start and where you get your chance," de Pasquale said.
"I was quite fortunate to get a full-time drive early and I have big respect for them taking a punt on me. We worked together really well for three years and they helped get me to the position where I can step into a championship winning team and have a proper crack."
De Pasquale will join Will Davison in an all new-look team with Fabian Coulthard also departing the DJR stable.
DJR will also go into the fight without Penske Racing after billionaire backer Roger Penske ended his association with the team.
Davison back from the dead
Will Davison's V8 nightmare has ended in a dream deal that could deliver him a fairytale title.
Forced to sit out this past season and fearing his career was over after his one-car team collapsed amid the COVID crisis, Davison has confirmed he has signed a deal to return to Dick Johnson Racing.
Speaking exclusively to News Corp, Davison revealed he had endured a tough nine months before being saved from the scrap heap by a DJR deal that will skyrocket him back to the top of the sport.
"I couldn't even have wished for it all to pan out this well," Davison said.
"I had some really tough days. I couldn't see light at the end of the tunnel and there was a lot of uncertainty. I had that all year long but none of that matters now.
"I have gotten the perfect outcome. throughout the year but all that is forgotten now. I have landed in a dream situation.
"I couldn't be hungrier and more determined to be back in an organisation like this and I am very thankful to gear that opportunity."
On Friday, Davison and Anton de Pasquale will be announced as replacements for Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard in an all new DJR driver line-up for 2021.
The experienced Davison is intent on being more than just a back-up driver for de Pasquale at the all-conquering team.
A former championship contender and Bathurst winner, Davison is out to follow in the footsteps of McLaughlin and deliver DJR another title.
"I feel like given all the ingredients that I am a more than capable driver," Davison said.
"I feel like I can challenge for championships so there will be absolutely no excuses now that I am driving for this team."
Failing to challenge for a title after leaving Ford Performance Racing at the end of 2013, Davison's career looked in doubt following a string of last-minute deals with one-car teams.
Enter Dick Johnson Racing.
Opting not to re-sign Coulthard after team top-gun McLaughlin quit to chase his IndyCar dream, DJR could have signed anyone. They wasted no time deciding Davison was their man.
Davison this week returned to the team that started his Supercars career back in 2005 to finalise the deal. He cut his teeth driving for DJR before joining the Holden Racing Team in 2009.
"It is great to be back," Davison said.
"Obviously a lot has changed since I was last here. I have limited dealing so far but I can already tell that it is a very professional organisation. It is an eye-opener in fact.
"I went to the workshop this week and it was like nothing I have seen. While the heart and soul of DJR is still here, it is very much a changed organisation. I have plenty of special memories of starting my career here and I am hoping to create a few more."
Originally published as Two new stars join V8 super team