With a break between Winton and Darwin, supercars.com is analysing the drivers’ results and performances in this first part of the season. The racing is the closest in history, with nine different winners in 11 races.
David Reynolds, Erebus Motorsport Engineer: Barry Ryan
Average qualifying position: 19.6 Average finishing position: 15.1 Championship position: 17 Points to leader: 446 Wins: 0 Pole positions: 0
Best result: 6th Winton after qualifying 17th
Low point: Perth. Never threatened and never looked like it.
For: David Reynolds could have sooked his way through 2016 after being ejected from Prodrive Racing Australia despite finishing third in the drivers’ championship last year.
That could have especially been the case considering he ended up at Erebus Motorsport with a rookie crew and an old ex-Walkinshaw Racing Holden Commodore VF to drive.
But to his credit Reynolds has refused to drop his bundle, instead giving it everything he’s got in every session and every race since he jumped into the car. Fifth in the wet at Clipsal was a fortuitous fairytale opening result.
But the sixth at Winton in the 200km Sunday mini-marathon was better because it was all about speed from the car and sustained aggression from Reynolds, who produced some stunning passes on his way up from 17th on the grid.
Reynolds is coping well with his new-found responsibility as team leader.
He is no longer ‘Crazy Dave’ but happily, he retains that off-beat sense of humour and alternate world view that makes him one of the most interesting Supercars drivers.
Against: Reynolds isn’t qualifying well. Improving in that area is going to be key to him consistently pushing up the race results and championship pointscore.
Reynolds has also copped criticism for not being a good passer, but that didn’t seem to be an issue at Winton.
He is now into a swing of races at venues he really likes starting with Darwin’s Hidden Valley. We’ll find out a lot more about Reynolds and Erebus over the next few events.
The team: Betty Klimenko’s team is unrecognisable as the ambitious three-car Mercedes-AMG squad that launched in 2013; the shift to Melbourne, the parking of the E63s, the new driver line-up, the new rookie crew.
And the changes have kept coming during the season with the Erebus Commodore undergoing a unique development path away from its Walkinshaw Racing origin.
Promisingly, at Winton the Erebus entry was well ahead of the factory HRT cars on Sunday.
But on Friday Reynolds lost set-up time because of an installation issue with a rear suspension part and on Saturday any chance of a good result ended because of a dud pit stop.
These errors are indicative of how new and raw the crew is.
Much-needed experience left the building when FiFo engineer Campbell Little finished up with Erebus and Reynolds after Winton.
Team boss Barry Ryan is taking over those duties until a full-time replacement is found.
Erebus also plans to shift premises soon, but a new-car build that was also on the agenda has been postponed for now.
Gee, can hardly understand why, it’s not like there’s much else going on!
Rating: C+ Excellent attitude and Winton Sunday hopefully a pointer to some strong results