De Pasquale, Whincup win at Watkins Glen

Andrew van Leeuwen

The first of two 14-lappers at the famous US track was a masterclass for sim racing expert De Pasquale.

The Erebus driver took advantage of a slow start from polesitter Shane van Gisbergen to grab the lead at the start, before charging to what was effectively a lights-to-flag win.

Scott McLaughlin did make a strategic play for the lead, using an early stop to try and undercut De Pasquale, but fell just short of grabbing the lead.

De Pasquale pulled away over the second stint, his final winning margin a handy 3.1s.

Van Gisbergen recovered from his slow start to finish third, followed by Lee Holdsworth, Bryce Fullwood and Race 2 winner Chaz Mostert.

The second race saw Whincup take maiden virtual race win, thanks to a clean run through the early reverse grid madness.

The seven-time Supercars champion did come under some late fire from IndyCar star Alex Rossi, although the greatest threat was McLaughlin in third.

The Penske driver was man of the match in the fourth race of the evening, charging from the back row to third – and falling just nine-tenths short of Whincup in a tense finish.

The highlight of McLaughlin's race was a sharp move through the Turns 2-4 complex in the closing stages, where he jumped both Cam Waters and Marcos Ambrose in one go.

Van Gisbergen put in a similarly impressive charge, finishing fourth ahead of Waters and Ambrose.

De Pasquale, however, couldn't make his way through the drama and finished the race in a lowly 25th.

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