It took David Reynolds and the Penrite crew some time to find their groove at The Bend on the weekend, however by Sunday it was evident the changes in set up were a step in the right direction.
Saturday proved tricky conditions with some rain and wind, although nothing Reynolds couldn’t handle. The 35-year old persisted and managed to make it into the Top Fifteen Shootout where he finished up 12th.
It was a chaotic start to the 24-lap race, with the front runners ending up in a tangle. Reynolds pressed on still mid-pack and stopped for rear tyres only on lap 12. Tyre degradation was proving a real issue for most teams and so strategy was critical to assist with tyre life. The #9 Penrite Commodore settled into 19th after all cars had completed their stop. With fresher tyres, Reynolds did an impressive job and managed to pick up six places to cross the line in 13th.
“The car felt really good in qualifying, I just needed to find two-tenths. We made an adjustment for the Shootout which ended up being the wrong way and I was slower on that lap,” said Reynolds.
“I got a relatively good start in the race and made up a couple of spots, but then I blistered the tyres quite badly.
“Once we pitted for newer tyres the car came back and normalised and was much more consistent and easier to drive by the end of the race.”
Sunday, David qualified 16th and 14th respectively. The #9 Commodore got off to a great start for the second race of the weekend and picked up three places before the first turn. Opting to pit a little earlier than the day before, fresh rear tyres were bolted onto the Penrite car, who popped out in P11 after all pitstops were completed.
From there, Reynolds was charging hard and picked up an impressive nine places to finish seventh.
The final 24-lap race saw Reynolds starting from P14, who got off to a good start and picked up three positions before turn one. At turn 17, it began to get chaotic with some cars spinning off the track, which forced David onto the dirt and cost him four places.
Reynolds managed to re-join the field although with damaged steering and went on to complete his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap six. With fresh rear tyres, the 35-year old moved through the pack and managed to cross the chequered flag in ninth.
“Qualifying was pretty ordinary, but we changed our car for the race, and it was much better. I wished we started that setup at the start of the weekend, it would have allowed me to chip away and hopefully come up with a better package overall, but luckily we have another weekend to give it a go,” said Reynolds.
“Sunday’s first race was good, we pitted early to try and normalise the balance of the car and the tyre life was much better, so we were able to chip away and make up some decent places.
“Unfortunately, in race 3 I got boxed around at the start and was in the middle of a couple of crashes, which bent my steering and made it difficult to drive after that.
“Overall it was a good weekend for the team, we are learning a lot about each individual car and I am really looking forward to next weekend.”
The Supercars return to The Bend 26-27th September, this time on the shorter West circuit.
Saturday 19th September
Practice 1 – 12th
Practice 2 – 21st
Qualifying (Race 25) – 12th
Race 25 – 13th
Sunday 20th September
Qualifying (Race 26) – 16th
Qualifying (Race 27) – 14th
Race 26 – 7th
Race 27 – 9th