Erebus Motorsport V8 and driver David Reynolds each have milestones to celebrate at this weekend’s Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway.
The Penrite Commodore driver will celebrate his 100th Virgin Australian Supercars Championship event while his Melbourne-based team will mark its 50th event since debuting in the championship at the 2013 Clipsal 500 in the wake of its buy-out of Stone Brothers Racing.
Reynolds, fresh from a solid run on Sunday in Townsville that included his first Top 10 Shootout berth with his new team, will become just the 41st driver in championship history to reach the century.
The Albury-raised racer says that the milestone comes as something of a surprise.
“I didn’t even know it was my 100th until you guys called to talk to me about it!” Reynolds told supercars.com.au.
“It’s a small milestone I guess, but I absolutely take some pride in achieving that figure. I’ve been in the series for that long; it’s a good thing. Most people don’t even make half of that amount.”
Reynolds made his VASC debut at the 2007 Sandown 500 as co-driver to Cameron McConville in the PWR-run Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore, though, as he reflects, he’d originally been signed to drive with the then-champion Toll HSV Dealer Team alongside then-Carrera Cup rival Craig Baird.
But, with the Toll-backed team in title contention with Rick Kelly and Garth Tander, as well as the fact Paul Radisich had become available to sign after his deal with Team Kiwi Racing collapsed, Reynolds was handballed down pit lane to a debut away from the spotlight.
“Garth and Rick were 1-2 in the championship and I’d never really driven a Supercar at that stage so I went to Craig Wilson (then CEO of Walkinshaw Racing) and said I didn’t want to take on the responsibility of screwing someone else’s championship based on my own inexperience,” recalls Reynolds.
“They acknowledged and were aware of that and placed me with PWR where I ran with Cam McConville. I think possibly the wheels for a swap could have been in motion before I brought it up but I definitely went to them and said it was a lot of pressure.”
Reynolds won the Porsche Carrera Cup championship later in that 2007 season and moved into the Dunlop Series in 2008 in a Tony D’Alberto Racing-run Commodore in addition to endurance driver duties in the Autobarn-backed HSV Dealer Team entry.
Elevated to a full-time championship with Walkinshaw Racing in 2009 in a Bundaberg Red Commodore, Reynolds was dumped at the end of the year and retained as an endurance driver for 2010.
A single season in a Kelly Racing Commodore was followed by four seasons aboard The Bottle-O Falcon for Rod Nash Racing prior to joining Erebus this year, an environment the 31-year-old says he feels ultra-comfortable in.
“My current garage is actually the best place I’ve ever been,” says Reynolds.
“It’s easy and good fun going racing. We’re not really under the microscope yet, there’s not big pressure being down the other end of pit lane. It’s really fun, it’s a different challenge.
“We have a bit of an unknown in the package of our car. I’ve seen the evolution that went on at a good team like PRA with their cars and now we’re applying that to our car. Everything we try lately seems to be pretty good.”
Reynolds finished third in last year’s championship and has three race wins to his name – one on the Gold Coast in 2013 with Dean Canto and two last year; one at Hidden Valley and another at Pukekohe.
He can rattle off a long list of memorable races from his time in Supercars racing.
“The Gold Coast 2013 was a big highlight no doubt, and finishing second at Bathurst in 2012 and having pole there last year too,” reflects Reynolds.
“Perth in 2009 sticks out when I was running second with five laps to go and the wheel fell off. I have heaps of memorable races!
“Darwin last year where I won and Townsville last year too was a great round. Bathurst in 2014 sticks out too when we were leading and then the car failed.
“I remember leading at Phillip Island in 2012 and then the hose failed in a pit stop so it ruined my race. That one could have been my first win.
“I had a few cool results with Kelly Racing in 2011. The first time at Homebush in 2009 was great too. It was the first time I’d made the Shootout and it was a new experience on a new track.
“Abu Dhabi 2011 sticks out too. Even though I was at the back of the field it was cool just to be at such a great venue.
“Supercars racing has taken me all over the world. I’ve met great people and had some fantastic races even though my results probably don’t really show it. I’ve learnt so much about myself, the sport and the cars and also my competition.
“I’ve had various teammates over the years and I’ve never had a bad teammate along the way. There hasn’t been anyone I’ve hated! At the start of our relationship Mark (Winterbottom) and I didn’t have a lot of respect but now there’s tons.”
Reynolds’ best result this year remains a fifth on the Sunday at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and he also finished sixth on Sunday at Winton.