Bittersweet victory for Reynolds at Newcastle

David Reynolds has made an impressive start to a new era this weekend at the Thrifty Newcastle 500, bringing home pole position and a third-place finish in Sunday’s Race 2.  

With the new Gen3 cars taking to the track for the first time, it was a clean slate for all. Three practice sessions on Friday gave teams the opportunity to understand the cars more and adjust their set ups. However, Saturday would be the real deal. It was straight into Qualifying and notably Reynolds made a mark in the field, finishing fifth, giving him a spot in the Top Ten Shootout. A solo lap and all eyes on the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang meant the pressure was on, however fifth is where Reynolds would start Race 1.  

Whilst Reynolds managed to stay within the top 15, the pace of the #26 Mustang couldn’t quite keep up with the front runners and a longer pit stop meant that the Penrite entry finished up 12th 

After breached rules from the Triple Eight garage disqualified the two Red Bull entries, Reynolds was elevated to tenth.  

“We had a good run early on in the day and put ourselves in a good position, but we went the wrong way in set up ahead of the first race and so it was a bit of a battle,” said Reynolds.  

“I struggled in the heat too. For the first race of the season, in a new car – it wasn’t a bad start, but I knew we had more in us.”  

The 2017 Bathurst winner started Sunday off in fine form, scoring provisional pole and from there, continued to turn heads after topping the Top Ten Shootout, putting him on the front row for the final race of the weekend.  

A 16th career pole and a second in Newcastle, it was evident the street style circuit was clearly one of David’s favourites.  

An electrical error almost jeopardised Reynolds’ race start though, with the team working fast against the clock to replace the alternator. All gremlins were fixed, and the Penrite Mustang was out in time for the final 250km race.  

Reynolds got off to a clean start, slotting into second behind Mostert in the opening lap, before a Safety Car was called. Fuel strategy would play a significant factor, with the Penrite Racing team opting to pit Reynolds for the first drop of fuel by lap 24.  

The Red Bull entry was on the hunt though and on lap 30, the pole winner was pipped for third on the final corner by (Shane) van Gisbergen.  

Then, it was (James) Golding that began to put the pressure on. With four laps to go and sitting in fourth, Reynolds knew he had to make a move. A clean pass on Turn 2 saw Reynolds claim back third position, which is where he would finish.  

“I’m ecstatic with Sunday’s results,” said Reynolds.  

“I didn’t quite have the pace of the front runners (van Gisbergen and Mostert), but I’m super proud of the team for all their hard work over the weekend. 

“I was super nervous as to how we were going to go, as Saturday wasn’t great and I struggled in the heat, so all I was trying to do was survive. But it was certainly a much easier day. 

 “I feel for my teammate Matt Payne though who had a rough start to the race and spewed in the warm up lap. Thank goodness we had a red flag so that he could go in for a new suit and helmet. Poor guy. 

 “I generally love street style circuits, so it was a lot of fun. We managed to have the car in the right direction for Sunday and so to finish where we did, I’m absolutely ecstatic. A big thanks to the crew and everyone for their support.  

 “I’m looking forward to getting back to it at the Melbourne SuperSprint.”  

 The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30 – April 2.  

 

Results 

FRIDAY 10TH  

Practice 1 – 3rd  

Practice 2 – 12th   

Practice 3 – 21st  

 

SATURDAY 11TH  

Qualifying – 5th  

Shootout – 5th  

Race 1 – 12th (10th corrected)  

 

SUNDAY 12TH  

Qualifying – 1st  

Shootout- 1st  

Race 2 – 3rd  

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