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'Awesome' Payne made Reynolds lift his game

Supercars
05 Nov
Matt Payne was a breakout star at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500
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  • Matt Payne's early Gold Coast pace made David Reynolds lift his game

  • Reynolds snapped five-year victory drought on Sunday

  • Payne qualified on Race 25 front row, finished career-best P4 in Race 26

David Reynolds says Matt Payne’s early Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 pace made him lift his game ahead of a drought-breaking victory.

Reynolds helped Penrite Racing to its first victory of the season last weekend, with the 38-year-old claiming his first win since 2018.

The Ford team was on the money all weekend, but it was Payne who landed the first blow in his first Supercars appearance at Surfers Paradise.

Payne, who recently turned 21, landed a front row spot in his first Gold Coast Top Ten Shootout for the Saturday race, and came home ninth.

Reynolds basks in drought-breaking Gold Coast win

Reynolds fought to third behind Cam Waters and Shane van Gisbergen, and when asked after his Sunday win about Payne’s performance, the 2017 Bathurst winner said he put himself on notice.

“Awesome performance by him,” Reynolds said of his Kiwi teammate.

“Didn’t expect anything like that, to come out of the box and be fast straight away. That’s a credit to himself, he dedicates himself to his job.

“When you talk to him, there’s not a lot going on upstairs — but he’s always thinking about motor racing, which is a good thing.

“He’s a very talented kid, and I was genuinely impressed by his performance this weekend. After his qualifying effort yesterday, it made me think about my own efforts today.”

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Payne also played a key on-track role in Reynolds' victory, holding pace with Kostecki to help Penrite Racing strategise Reynolds into position to claim the lead after the final stops.

When asked if Payne can score a rookie victory in Adelaide, like Broc Feeney did last year, Reynolds replied: “Absolutely. Any of our two cars on their day can win, and we proved it today.

Last lap: Reynolds denies charging Kostecki to win Race 26

“Definitely Matt can win a race by the end of the year, for sure."

Payne chased Waters for the final spot on the Sunday podium as Reynolds denied championship leader Brodie Kostecki to win by just 0.18s.

While Waters proved too much to overcome, Payne revelled in his own performance, which saw the New Zealander move to 14th in the championship.

“It’s so awesome to come here as my first time and be right up the front,” he said.

“Make the two Shootouts, and have a really good result here with P4. Man, I was trying so hard to get Cam at the end there.

“He was just too good, and I couldn’t really construct a pass on him. Massive credit to the team, we’ve been working so hard the last four months.

“It’s a great reward for everyone, it’s a positive look going to Adelaide."

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