Reynolds loving life at Erebus

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/07/2016
  • By Bruce Newton

David Reynolds is just getting started.

That’s the message from the Erebus Motorsport driver, who along with the reconstructed team he joined this year is turning into one of the stars of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2016.

Reynolds exited Prodrive Racing Australia at the end of 2015 despite finishing third in the drivers’ championship and landed the drive with Betty Klimenko’s team, which had parked its Mercedes-AMG E63 program and bought an old Walkinshaw Holden Commodore VF, moved to Melbourne from the Gold Coast and hired an all-new and mostly rookie crew.

In those circumstances Reynolds’ career was expected to stall.

“Every one said it would end my career,” Reynolds confirmed. “But I have just started again.

“I love it, it’s a good little team.

“Every one gets on really well, it’s pretty easily managed I think from the outside looking in. I love it, it’s good fun.”

Reynolds’ best result remains fifth in the monsoonal Sunday race at the season-opening Clipsal 500, but his last outing at the Castrol Edge Townsville 400 was his and the team’s most complete and competitive event of the year.

On Saturday he went 12-11 in the opening 200km race before making it into the ARMOR ALL Top 10 shootout on Sunday where he qualified fifth. A strong start saw him run in the top three for much of the race, before slipping back a little as the tyres degraded.

His eventual 14th place finish came about because he didn’t pit for fresh tyres under the final safety car and was overwhelmed by a bunch of cars that did.

“On Saturday we chewed our tyres up badly,” Reynolds confirmed. “On Sunday they still went off but not as badly. It showed we made some improvement.

“We were looking good for top five. I got a brilliant start and that’s handy. That’s one thing I am good at is starts.

“We raced really well for about 80 per cent of the race. Just the last 20 per cent really went badly for us because we didn’t make the proper call.

“You look at James Courtney; he was two cars behind me and he finished second. Conservatively, we should have been third at worst.”

But Reynolds is clearly confident the results will come, basing that belief on the solid improvement the team has been making as it follows its own development path for the Commodore under the direction of team boss Barry Ryan.

The veteran has taken over engineering duties on the Penrite Commodore with the assistance of newcomer Mirko DeRosa since the departure of Campbell Little after Winton.

“We have gone down out own path,” Reynolds said. “It’s hard, it’s hard, but it’s really fun. I am loving it.

“All the things we are doing we don’t really have any data,” he added. “We are flying pretty blind with everything. It is educated guesses and just trying not to be silly about it. Most of the time it has been working and it has been pretty cool.

“We work well together we are a small little engineering team. There is a lot more to come. In development terms we still have plenty of ideas.

“There are small progressions every time we go out; we are learning a lot about the car. We have still got things up our sleeve we can try and build and progress.

“Its awesome, we are consistently moving forward.”

Reynolds admits there are still plenty of unpredictable factors coming as the year progresses, including the Pirtek Enduro Cup – where Craig Baird will co-drive – and the reversion to hard Dunlop tyres at the flagship event of the season, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“Obviously we haven’t raced on a hard tyre for a long time so that’s a bit of an unknown,” Reynolds conceded.

“All our testing and development has been on the soft tyre, so Bathurst could end up being a bit of a lucky guess.

But if the car is good on softs it should be good on hards too. I am not too phased about it.”

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