After contesting just three V8 Supercars Championship events in 2013, Jonny Reid returns to the series and couldn’t be happier to have scored a seat as a co-driver for the PIRTEK Endurance Cup.
It all came about quickly for Reid, who was contacted by Tony D’Alberto Racing when a seat arose with the team for the enduros, after previously announced Nick Percat shifted to contest the races with Holden Racing Team, alongside Garth Tander.
“It’s a cool story,” Reid said. “From my shoes, Tony and I have been trying to work out an endurance deal together for a while.
“When I first came to Australia in 2011 I knew the D’Albertos from way back in the karting era and would keep in touch quite a bit. Al has always spurred me on in the background and gave me a call to get me on-board.
“I’d read about it (the opening with the team) and before I could pick up the phone there was already a call from the team.
“They have a lot of belief in me and I want to step up and make a difference in their Championship.”
His goal is 100 percent to get a drive in the main series again next year.
“The start of the year for me wasn’t really a fair go and I’m really looking forward to making a difference and showing I’m a worthy V8 Supercars driver,” he said.
The weekend’s Coates Hire Ipswich 360 was Reid’s first opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Team HIFLEX Holden Commodore, which he said felt quite different to the DJR Falcon.
But was there a lot of pressure on, jumping in for the first time at a V8 Supercars event?
“I was pretty relaxed, to be honest,” Reid said.
“I’m at a stage of my career where I’ve done a lot of driving and have a lot of experience outside the V8 Supercars Championship.
“I think it’s another day at the office and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I got out of the car quite exhilarated, it had been a while since I’d driven at that level and I can’t wait to do it again!”
The 29-year old Kiwi has plenty to show on his racing resume.
Having grown up in Auckland, he raced karts “a heck of a lot” with a dedicated father, who took him to the track each week.
He then graduated to Formula Ford, then Formula Holden after moving to Australia.
He battled Fabian Coulthard from a young age and once in Aus featured against Allan Gurr, Mark Winterbottom and Michael Caruso.
“I have neat memories from that time – I like to look back at the photos and reminisce sometimes, there are some cool little stories!”
Reid’s first taste of V8 Supercars was as a wildcard entry in the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 (Bathurst) in 2003, alongside Gurr in the Smiths Trucks Holden Commodore VX entry. Unfortunately the car didn’t finish.
From there, Reid adventured overseas to contest Formula 3000; the A1 Grand Prix for Team New Zealand from 2005 and 2008; to the States to run in Indy Lights; New Zealand for the Porsche GT3 Cup; and back to Australia for the Carrera Cup for 2011 and ‘12, in which he finished runner up to Craig Baird in the Championship last year, after winning four of the seven rounds he competed in.
Reid worked as a sales manager while racing Carrera Cup on the side.
“That helped me pay the bills and helps raise the young family I’ve got. I’m a dad, I have a 10-month old daughter.”
What does he do in his spare time?
“I think the missus gets a bit annoyed with me watching so much motorsport!” he joked.
“Otherwise I like wakeboarding and fishing – that’s usually what I’m doing when you can’t get hold of me.”
Reid will get another chance behind the wheel of the #3 Team HIFLEX Commodore at the practice session at the Winton 360 and believes the team will hold a test day prior to the first event in the PIRTEK Endurance Cup, the Sandown 500, which runs in September.
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity – it means the absolute world.”