TOUGH CONDITIONS IN TAUPŌ MAKE FOR A CHALLENGING WEEKEND FOR REYNOLDS

Treacherous conditions in New Zealand made for a challenging weekend at the ITM Taupō Super400. With the Taupō circuit being new to the Supercars calendar, drivers also had to navigate through the challenging weather conditions. 

 

Friday’s 90-minute practice session saw David Reynolds finish in respectable ninth position, however come Saturday; the rain made for some tricky racing. Team 18 driver, Reynolds suffered with balance issues during Saturday’s qualifying session and finished up 21st ahead of the first race.  

 

Starting from the rear of the grid, it wouldn’t be long before the first Safety Car was deployed as the field approached Turn 1. Reynolds was lucky to escape the carnage and settled into a rhythm, before a second Safety Car was issued. During this, majority of the teams utilised this opportunity to complete their first compulsory stop, however Reynolds encountered a delay while exiting the pits amidst traffic.  

 

Although caught up in an incident between (Brock) Kostecki and (James) Courtney, it didn’t stop Reynolds charging forward to finish an impressive 16th. 

 

Reynolds’ pace continued into Sunday’s qualifying session, placing the #20 TRADIE Racing Mustang 13th ahead of the final race – and just missing out on the top ten shootout.  

 

However, that would be where Reynolds’ luck turned; after a steering drama dampened his final race, where it spiraled from there. A lap down, the #20 Camaro was hard to control and so 24th was all Reynolds could manage.  

 

Hear what Reynolds had to say on the weekend: 

 

“It was my first-time racing in New Zealand at Taupō, so it was a little bit different. The track is really funny – there’s an old surface and a new surface and you can set your car up really great for the old surface (or vice-versa) and it’ll be terrible on the other surface. So, it was tricky to figure out what to do,” admitted Reynolds.  

 

“In practice, we were one of the fastest cars on the Friday, even though we were 9th on the timesheet, if I put my lap time together properly, we would have been in the top three for sure.  

 

“Saturday rolled around and we had a bit of communication drama between my car and the pit. We were hoping to obviously be up the front and unfortunately qualified 21st. It was hard to know when to pit or understand what was going on, they couldn’t tell me anything, so it really sucked.  

 

“It was heavily raining for the race – for the whole 200kms which was a long way in the rain. It was quite scary because the car fogs up, it gets really dirty and you can’t see anything and then you’re doing 200kms/h down the back straight and you’re just waiting for the car to brake in front of you to figure out where you’re going. So, it was a very tough day. I felt like besides getting crashed into three times; if I didn’t have those incidents, we would have been in the top few for sure. Our car was a jet. I felt like I passed 30 cars, but still only ended up 16th 

 

“And then the Sunday we went for a stiffer sort of set up all round, which is not our usual philosophy – but it sort of half worked. We didn’t really get our tyres up to the right temperature for qualifying and we ended up 13th, which actually was only seconds from the top ten, so we just missed out on the Shootout.  

 

“In the dry race, we had a lot of steering dramas. The steering was binding up really badly, I could barely drive the car – the steering was rock solid. It was forcing me to almost run off the track and drive around the outside of the corner instead of turning it down into the apex; so that wasn’t ideal.  

 

“All in all, it was a bit of a dismal weekend for us. But hopefully it’ll make us think a bit better and make us take more action in preparation for the next one.  

 

“Perth is the next round – which I did ok last year. So, I’m really looking forward to getting there and giving it another crack this year.”  

 

The Repco Supercars next head to Western Australia for the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint 17-19 May.  

 

 

Results  

Friday 19th April 

Practice 1 – 9th (90mins)  

Saturday 20th April 

Qualifying (Race 7) – 21st  

Race 7 – 16th  

Sunday 21st April 

Qualifying (Race 8) – 13th  

Race 8 – 24th  

 

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