Drivers will be under pressure to move through the field in the championship Albert Park sprint races, says David Reynolds.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30-April 2.
Supercars drivers will complete four quick fire races in Melbourne — Race 3 is 19 laps, Race 4 is 15 laps, and Races 5 and 6 are 13 laps each.
With points on offer, each position counts, with points leader Chaz Mostert reiterating the importance of qualifying up the front.
“It’s super cutthroat, and it all comes down to your qualifying position,” Mostert told Supercars.com.
“One mistake on that lap — which we’ve seen in years gone past — you’re 23rd, 24th on the grid even though you’ve got the car speed to be inside the top five."
Penrite Racing Ford star Reynolds was the form driver at Albert Park last year, scoring a pole and three podiums.
Reynolds leads van Gisbergen last year
Critically, he didn’t have to use his tyres fighting to the front after starting mid-pack — but he suggested such pressure will come to the fore.
That comes alongside Reynolds' championship position, with the 37-year-old just 69 points behind Mostert in fourth.
“It sort of puts the pressures on the drivers to make moves when they have to move,” Reynolds said on the latest Penrite Preview.
"It’s a hard track. If you haven’t been here, it’s very fast, it’s a long lap – a minute forty-eight or something – it’s a long time to think about.
"Fun though, it’s so cool when you cruise down pit lane — just feel like the biggest race fan.
"Thursday’s going to be flat out — that’s when you're going to see most of the Supercars action.
"Anytime you race here it's fantastic — you’ve got F1, the track layout’s unreal the scenery’s great.
"I used to live across the road — I lived there for 18 years so I know the area pretty well, so anytime I get to race here it’s almost like my home.”
Rookie teammate Matt Payne will make his first Supercars starts in Melbourne, having tested at The Bend Motorsport Park last week.
Payne is coming off results of 12th and 14th at the Thrifty Newcastle 500, his 12th position the third best rookie result of any driver on the 2023 grid.
The Kiwi believes his day spent at the Grand Prix-style Bend layout can only help him get up to speed at Albert Park.
"I think it will [help], I think The Bend and Albert Park are similar — flat tracks, pretty high speed,” Payne said.
"We did as many laps as we could, and I think the Gen3 handles pretty well on an open track once you get to stretch its legs a little bit.
“Just having that experience of high speed, no bumps — it definitely helped me."