Three years after David Reynolds signed on to race Erebus Motorsport’s Mercedes Supercar, he finally drove one.
Reynolds’ deal with the Betty Klimenko-owned squad was signed in October 2015, when the team was running two of the AMG E63s out of its Gold Coast base.
Shortly after, Erebus’ management took the dramatic decision to move the team to Melbourne and switch to Holdens, initially buying Walkinshaw-built Commodores.
Having struggled for three years with the E63s, the complete reset proved shrewd, with the new team subsequently rising to become a Bathurst-winning force.
But it also meant Reynolds never got to drive the unique piece of Supercars history, until Tuesday’s test at Winton.
The E63 at Winton on Tuesday
Reynolds completed a handful of laps as Erebus ran one of the cars for the first time since the 2015 season-ending Sydney 500.
“When I first joined Erebus I thought I was going to drive that car, so it was pretty cool to finally drive it,” Reynolds affirmed to Supercars.com.
While his time in the car was brief, it was enough to enjoy what the E63 is arguably best remembered for; its sound.
Reduced to 5.0 litres for Supercars competition, the AMG M159 engine - complete with flat-plane crankshaft - makes a distinctive noise.
"The sound is amazing. That’s the most notable thing for me," said Reynolds.
“The engine's driveability was OK, it’s just a bit different to the Holden.
“The handling, it’s hard to really say because we didn’t really have a lot of time to set it up.
“We didn’t have many tyres to burn up either.
"But it's a nice car, very nice inside."
Reynolds says it was hard to tell if the car could still be competitive based on his short time behind the wheel, but his co-driver Luke Youlden is convinced.
Youlden instigated the push to get the car up and running, working on a deal to drive it in selected Dunlop Super2 Series races next year to prepare for the enduros.
Outlining his plan to Supercars.com, Youlden stressed his belief in the car as a competitive and cost-effective way of increasing is seat time before the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Reynolds’ focus at the Tuesday test was on his regular mount; his Penrite Holden Commodore ZB.
The day doubled as the final test for the two-car squad, allowing Reynolds and team-mate Anton De Pasquale to get a head start on 2019.
“It was a great day, probably one of the best days I’ve had there ever,” said Reynolds, who secured fifth in the 2018 championship with a win in the season-finale.
“It was good to be able to prepare for next year and try a few things that we didn’t get the chance to try during the year.
“It was hard to judge the pace, because there was only one other main [game] car running, where normally we’re running with a few others.
“But the car felt really good, the best it’s ever felt there.”
Youlden and Will Brown also turned laps in the Holdens during the day, having been re-signed as co-drivers for 2019.