David Reynolds says Erebus' strong Saturday ahead of the Wilson Security Sandown 500 is tempered by the event’s format nullifying what would otherwise be milestones for the outfit.
Reynolds topped the morning’s qualifying session for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup opener, the first time he has done so with Erebus, which switched to Holdens when he joined last year.
Co-driver Luke Youlden converted that pole position into victory in the opening ARMOR ALL Race for the Grid, also the first time an Erebus Holden has greeted the chequered flag first in a race.
However, the Sandown format means neither enter the record books on that basis, with the pair to start third on Sunday due to Reynolds’ finish in the second sprint behind Cameron Waters and Scott McLaughlin.
“I’m happy with third, to start third in one of the biggest races of the year is pretty good,” he said.
“I got a really bad start, we’ve had three qualifying sessions and two don’t get awarded for and one gets awarded for.
“I got my first pole with the team in this current package, [Youlden] got the first win in the Holden and there’s no feeling towards that whatsoever, it sucks.”
A pair of sprint races have been used to set the grid for Supercars’ 500km affair since 2008, and no points are currently awarded for Saturday’s hitouts.
Reynolds believes one option to change that would be a redistribution of the 300 points on offer for the event.
“We could do qualifying and have two races that have some points attached to it,” he added.
“And then take away points tomorrow, so instead of having 300 points [for the 500km race] you have 250.
“Or we qualify and [co-drivers] do a top 10 shootout, there has to be something. Imagine a co-driver top 10 shootout, it would be nuts.”
Youlden said his emotion after leading the field across the line in the sprint for co-drivers was further kept in check by the heavy accident involving Todd Hazelwood and Jonathon Webb.
“It was a bit weird,” he said. “I wanted to celebrate winning the race, but I felt it probably wasn’t the right thing to do. But the boys are OK.”
Currently eighth in the championship as Erebus makes inroads with its in-house developed Commodore, Reynolds believes tyre life is an area the team needs to improve for the 161-lap race.
“I think our car’s pretty pacey over one lap, but it doesn’t hang onto its tyres like it should, like the other cars around me,” he said.
“We’ve still got a few things to learn. It’s all about distance tomorrow, it’s not really about one-lap pace.”