Gold Coast victory 'monkey off our back' for Groves

29 Oct
David Reynolds helped Penrite Racing to its first win of the solely Grove-owned era
  • Gold Coast win helps “monkey off our back” for team owner Stephen Grove

  • David Reynolds defeated Brodie Kostecki in Sunday's Race 26

  • First win in 60 attempts for team under sole Grove ownership

Victory at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 helped Penrite Racing get the “monkey off our back” for team owner Stephen Grove.

David Reynolds held off Brodie Kostecki to win Race 26 on Sunday, with the Ford team scoring its first victory in its solely Grove-owned era.

The Groves took over what was Kelly Racing in 2022, having merged with the Kellys to form Kelly Grove Racing in 2021.

Andre Heimgartner won at The Bend in 2021, in what was just the ninth race for the Groves, but it would take two-and-a-half years and 81 races to get to the top step again.

This time, it was victory for the team in its Grove-owned era on what proved a defining weekend for the team.

Reynolds finished third on Saturday and moved from 19th to 12th in the championship across the weekend. Matt Payne was a standout, finishing fourth on Sunday and moving to 14th.

Reynolds up to old tricks with crazy podium antics

For team owner Grove, victory was proof the team is moving in the right direction, given both Penrite Fords were in the mix at Sandown and Bathurst.

"What a great weekend. Finally,” said Grove, who runs the Braeside squad with son Brenton.

"We’ve got the monkey off our back and hopefully we can take some more wins. Adelaide is next and it’s another street circuit.

"The win is confirmation we’re doing the right thing. We’re heading in the right direction so we’ve just got to keep building and executing.

"We’ve always taken a long-term approach and you have to work through the process. This is the reward.”

Reynolds’ victory proved bittersweet, given the larrikin driver is off to Team 18 in 2024. However, he will be replaced by Bathurst winner Richie Stanaway, no less.

Last lap: Reynolds denies charging Kostecki to win Race 26

The team has plenty to be excited about with incumbent rookie Payne, who played a key role in Reynolds’ win after a strategy masterclass.

The team split Reynolds and Payne, with the two Fords swapping hands during the middle stint as the 2017 Bathurst winner made his fuel strategy work.

It comes as the team settles into its new and improved Melbourne base following a major redevelopment.

“It feels awesome,” Team Principal David Cauchi said of the win.

“There’s been a huge amount of work going on in the background from the boys and girls at Penrite Racing.

“The win was a true team effort, both cars were up the front, so we were able to use that strategically.

“True team effort today, and a really good reward for the team."

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