The Reynolds feat that wowed Winterbottom

06 Mar
'It’s not often drivers appreciate other drivers, because we’re full of ego'
  • David Reynolds snuck into Bathurst Shootout after engine issue

  • Reynolds had one lap under pressure to reach Shootout

  • Mark Winterbottom gained 14 positions over both races

An under-pressure qualifying flyer by David Reynolds impressed Mark Winterbottom, who was full of praise for his new teammate.

Team 18 recruit Reynolds was a standout at the Thrifty Bathurst 500, reaching both Boost Mobile Top Ten Shootouts, before finishing eighth and sixth.

Reynolds didn’t have it all his own way, crashing early in Friday practice before missing out on Saturday’s Shootout due to a puncture.

Come Sunday, and an engine issue kept Reynolds stuck in the garage, leaving the veteran with a single flying lap in qualifying.

Reynolds delivered under extreme pressure, dropping in a lap good enough for fifth, setting up his run to sixth in the race in a weekend he labelled an "emotional rollercoaster."

The performance wasn’t lost on Winterbottom, who is enjoying working with his old Ford Performance Racing teammate, some nine years on.

“It's good to have Dave, he’s a great guy to work with,” Winterbottom said.

“Man, he was on it this weekend. It’s not often drivers appreciate other drivers, because we’re full of ego.

“But that lap in quali was big. It’s hard to do. We do it in Shootouts and stuff, but it’s actually hard to do under pressure.”

Winterbottom struggled for one-lap pace, but was one of the fastest cars in race trim, with the #18 DEWALT Camaro racing from 19th to 12th, and 21st to 14th.

Despite the poor qualifying performance, Winterbottom was buoyed by his strong race pace in what was his first weekend with new Race Engineer, Som Sharma.

"My car in the race, I was faster than I was in quali in many spots,” he said.

“Although I’ve been here for five years, new engineers make this a new team, that’s how it is.

“We had a solid weekend, we’re learning. He’s fast in quali, I’m fast in the race. If you don't quali well, she’s chaos.”

Reynolds and Winterbottom are fifth and 16th in the drivers’ championship heading to the Melbourne SuperSprint on March 21-24.

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