Spun out of contention
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
David Reynolds is philosophical about falling out of the running for the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship after a disappointing weekend at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint.
The Bottle-O racer held second by one point heading into the weekend, but a tap on-track from Shane van Gisbergen sent him and his Championship chances spinning out of control at the high-speed circuit on Saturday.
Now he is focusing on maintaining third - which would be his career best Championship finish - and having a better race car come the Coates Hire Sydney 500.
No longer a mathematical chance at the title, Reynolds is 319 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom and 140 behind second placed Craig Lowndes after a weekend to forget. He's 229 points ahead of fourth-placed Garth Tander.
"It's just disappointing, very disappointing," Reynolds told v8supercars.com.au.
"Saturday made it a lot harder and [after Sunday] it's impossible.
"But championships are won and lost over a year, not one race."
Reynolds was matter-of-fact about the weekend, but clearly unhappy with the way the van Gisbergen contact was dealt with. At the time he said on the telecast - and to van Gisbergen himself - the Kiwi was 'dead to him'.
Driving Standards Observer Jason Bargwanna slapped the TEKNO driver with a 25-point penalty - and gave solid reasoning - but Reynolds believes the punishment didn't fit the crime.
"Absolutely," Reynolds responded when asked if he believed van Gisbergen got off lightly.
"Bargwanna came out and told everyone that anyone who interferes in the Championship standings - a la turning people round for unnecessary reasons - will be heavily dealt with, and it wasn't. It was just a slap on the wrist."
Van Gisbergen alluded to contact made between the two at turn one, but Reynolds said: "I can't really comment on things I don't see".
While he said it wasn't difficult to regroup at the end of Saturday, he added: "I could tell it how it is but I'm not going to."
Reynolds has had a standout year driving the Prodrive FG X Falcon, earning two of his three career wins and finding consistent results. Off-track, though, it has been a rollercoaster for the 30-year old.
Prodrive kicked off the season by publicly telling him to shape up if he wanted to remain with the team. Ultimately, he won't be there despite his performance and turning down other offers.
A slip of the tongue at Bathurst was costly and any chance of taking the #1 to Erebus next year was extinguished across the weekend.
He is pleased to have locked in a home for 2016, "but I'll worry about this year," he said with one round to go.
"I've still got to maintain third in the Championship, I can still end up second.
"So I've got to win races and I've got to make the car fast.
"We didn't have a fast enough car [yesterday] and it showed. You've got to have pace in races - you have to qualify well, have good race pace.
"The next track is a lot different from here, and requires a very different setup."
He admitted error in qualifying on Sunday, but described the FG X as "dog slow" in his first stint and was curious as to whether there was a tyre issue.
Finishing 25th, fifth and 10th was not what he had been hoping for across the weekend, but the Bottle-O star is looking forward to turning things around in Sydney.
His best result at the street circuit was third in last year's first race, one of three top 10 finishes at the Olympic Park precinct.