David Reynolds Sandown 2022

FAST FIGHTBACK FOR FLYING REYNOLDS

David Reynolds has bagged a strong swag of points after a wild Sandown weekend that saw mud, mayhem and some great racing for Round 9 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship.

The three-race Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint saw Reynolds score nearly 200 points to affirm his position in the lead pack of championship contenders over Races 24, 25 and 26 of the championship, each a 36-lap contest around the bumpy high-speed track.

Reynolds showed strong form despite an initial setback in the first qualifying session of the weekend ahead of Race 24.

“The red flag came out at the worst time for us,” said the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang driver. “We didn’t get a lap in, so starting near the back was obviously not an ideal way to kick off the weekend.”

The race itself saw Reynolds stage another impressive comeback – similar to his brilliant wet weather performance at the previous round in Tailem Bend – after a clever strategy that saw him pit on Lap 6 of the 36-lap Saturday race.

On Lap 11, he set the then-fastest lap of the race with a 1:08.474 around the 3.1-kilometre layout, with the first of the leaders not pitting until Lap 13. With his strong pace and clever racecraft, Reynolds carved his way to 13th on the road before the final pit-stop of the race – taken by team-mate Lee Holdsworth on Lap 25 – saw him finish an impressive 12th.

“It’s not a bad job! We started in the 20s – you don’t count once you’re in the 20s – the car’s pretty good,” said Reynolds. “The unfortunate part was that I didn’t have any lock lights, shift lights – as a driver you really need those tools to drive around here. So all things considered, the car was really good, and the boys did a good job on the stop.”

Sunday Qualifying

Sunday saw a fresh start with two qualifying sessions for the afternoon’s Races 25 and 26. With no rain overnight, the track was still rubbered up with more grip and proved even faster as lap times fell. Reynolds showed what may’ve been the day before, performing strongly in the back-to-back 10-minute all-in qualifying sessions.

Race 25 qualifying saw Reynolds lay down a 1:08.468 for second-fastest in the early stages, which became P8 once the entire field had set their first hot laps. With just over three minutes to run, Reynolds headed back out and went even faster to park the Penrite Mustang sixth on the grid.

The very next session saw Reynolds set an even faster time of 1:07.508, good enough for seventh on the Race 26 grid, giving him two great opportunities to maximise the Super Soft Dunlop tyres drivers had to manage across the weekend.

Sunday Races

The start of Race 25 saw Reynolds charge past Scott Pye off the start, who’d started alongside him on the grid, to snatch fifth place by the first corner, before a smart overtake of Cam Waters into the first corner to take fourth position on Lap 5.

The leading Mustang driver, Reynolds took his compulsory pit-stop on Lap 14 to cover Will Davison, staying ahead thanks to a well-executed stop.

Issues for both Davison and Broc Feeney, both who were in battles with Reynolds, saw the Penrite Mustang prevail to sit in fifth place when race leader Shane van Gisbergen pitted on Lap 22.

As the final stops were made, Reynolds had only van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert ahead of him to lay third, before a late charge from Will Brown saw Reynolds’ stellar drive fall just short of a podium.

“Yeah just couldn’t hang on,” said Reynolds. “I was keeping him [Brown] at bay two seconds behind me, and then one lap I just lost half-a-second and then another half-a-second and another. Then he hunted me down and drove past me like I was standing still.”

“We probably pitted a little too early – Will Davison pit behind me and we tried to cover him because we know that car’s fast, and he got a drive-through penalty anyway, so we could’ve stayed out longer but we didn’t know at the time that he was going to get penalised.”

Race 26 saw a dramatic first few corners, with Reynolds blocked by Mostert and Anton De Pasquale after a terrific start from the Penrite Mustang. Heading into the second and third corners, Reynolds was pincered between Cam Waters and Mark Winterbottom, the latter heading off track as the trio fought for space around Turn 3.

The mugging pushed Reynolds back to eighth position, erasing his great start off the line, however he was quickly back to seventh on the road when Anton De Pasquale collided with Davison at Turn 12 near the end of the opening lap.

The first of the tight lead pack to pit was Mostert on Lap 10, with Winterbottom and Feeney’s stops seeing Reynolds in fifth place and pressuring Brown as he sought revenge for Brown poaching the podium from Reynolds the previous race.

Taking his compulsory stop on Lap 19 from fourth place, Reynolds rejoined in 12th position behind Thomas Randle, with several competitors yet to pit.

Tenth with 11 laps remaining, Reynolds attacked Randle, but was gifted ninth place when Waters went off track from fourth position to tenth – allowing Reynolds another Top Ten finish in ninth.

“We’re in a good window, still not perfect, but the Penrite Mustang is going well. Considering where we came from on Saturday morning qualifying, our results were pretty good over the weekend, but we have a few things to work on.” “Putting a complete weekend together is another challenge: if we’d not had that red flag, that would’ve given us more options to work on for the races, so we’re working on that. Full credit to the team who are working really hard and gave us a good car.”

Reynolds remains seventh in the championship standings on 1562 points as the Supercars field heads to New Zealand for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint on 9-11 September, with tickets available here.

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