David Reynolds is primed for Round 8 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, the OTR SuperSprint, at the Bend Raceway in South Australia. The Bend is the newest circuit on the calendar and sees the Sprint Format return with the chance of wet weather that saw significant carnage last time out.
“It’s quite a difficult track to drive and to set your car up for, as every corner is slightly different,” said the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang driver.
The weekend sees three 24 lap races – Races 21, 22 and 23 of the season – around the 4.9km International Circuit, one of a number of possible layouts offered by The Bend Motorsport complex. Qualifying will be determined by a three-part knockout session on Saturday, while for Sunday’s two races a pair of back-to-back all-in sessions will settle the battle for Pole Position.
“It’s a 1:50 lap time which in the scheme of things is quite long,” said Reynolds. “A small mistake can make a big difference around the lap.”
Teams will use the Soft compound Dunlop tyre for the first time since Perth – despite several blowouts when Supercars first raced at The Bend back in 2019.
“This weekend is all about qualifying, especially with the sprint format. You can do well here as there’s a lot of different strategies because there’s no tyre deg, but you need a fast car – if your car’s not fast you can kiss the podium goodbye. You can storm through, but if you want to win the race you’ve got to qualify up front.”
Also threatening to make a difference this weekend is forecast rain, with Sunday looming as the wettest day of the event.
“If it rains, it rains – it’s the same for everyone,” Reynolds added. “It’ll be what it’ll be, I’m not too scared about it. I think at the start of the year our cars were pretty good in the wet even though they’re pretty different – hopefully they’re still good in the wet.”
Last season’s wet weekend at the circuit saw Reynolds caught up in serious incidents in both races. “It’s usually pretty hectic in the first couple of laps because it’s quite a wide circuit, so people do stupid things they probably shouldn’t,” he said.
“Passing can be pretty hard because they are such fast corners. You get a lot of aero wash especially around Turn 4, Turn 7-8-9, that triple right-hander, you do get a lot of aero wash there, so it tends to spread the field out a bit.”
Ultimately, it will be the set-up benchmark that’s established in Saturday’s two Practice sessions before qualifying that will determine success for the #26 Penrite Mustang.
“No two corners are really the same, so you’re braking into different styles during the lap – is it a long or short corner, does it go uphill or downhill, are there bumps, can you use the kerb – there’s a lot of different factors within the variety of corners, which makes it very hard to set up and for the drivers to get the most out of.”
“It’s hard to drive because it’s one of those tracks the harder you try the slower you go,” Reynolds said. “It takes a required amount of discipline. The track surface is really good, it’s really grippy, so you have to be smooth with your inputs with the car. You can’t rag it and get a lap time out of it, because you spend so long in the corners, you’re relying on your car’s performance a lot.”
Heading into this weekend’s round, Reynolds is seventh in the championship standings on 1234 points and looking to return to the form that saw him record a string of podiums earlier in the season.
The #26 Penrite Racing Mustang will hit The Bend circuit at 10:15am (ACST) on Saturday July 30 for Practice 1 as Round 8 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship gets underway. Tickets are available here.