Another positive weekend at Townsville!
Our Friday practice sessions proved baffling….we just kept hovering around the top 10, but couldn’t unlock a set up that would get us in the top 3. After three practise sessions the quickest time we could post was eighth.
For Saturdays qualifying sessions we tried a new approach and it paid dividends. We managed a P3 start for the Saturday race, just behind Chaz and Frosty. I got a good start and was able to keep with the leading pack. Pit stops went well and strategy went to plan. The green machine was very quick. The heat inside the cabin was intense too and I really started to notice it in the last 15 laps. I sat behind Frosty for quite a few laps and felt the tyres just hanging on. In the last few laps the car still felt strong and I considered a pass, but as stated in post-race interviews I chose against making a pass on my team mate for the better of the team. I mean, just imagine if the pass hadn’t come off and Frosty or I (or both of us!) came off the track. I settled for second and jumped up to fifth in the championship.
Sunday was a great day too. I qualified the car in the top 3 which allowed me to take part in the Top 10 shootout. It’s the first time we’ve had a top 10 shoot-out in a while. But unfortunately my lap was not as good as I hoped and I made a couple of errors. It cost me and I was lucky to end up on the second row for the start.
I made a good start and after some pushing and shoving I emerged in second place. By mid-race I found myself in the lead of the race with only fresh air in front of me! A safety car hampered our strategy, yet and after a round of pit stops I found myself flying past Chaz and also managed to stay in front of Frosty. My tyres started to fade and I was having trouble holding off Frosty who had fresher tyres.
But soon a serious drama unfolded. An engine glitch distracted me and caused me to lock up the tyres. As I searched for warning lights and radioed to my engineer, I lost pace and had to let Frosty pass. From there it was a matter of managing the situation and managing the tyres.
Unfortunately my tyre fade became extreme and I could see James Courtney flying up behind me. I had no choice but to let him pass and hope to hold on to third spot. In the end I was relieved to have another day on the podium. Third spot was the best I could do.
At the end of the weekend I popped up into fourth in the championship – a career high for me.
I’ll again thank everyone at the The Bottle-O Racing team and PRA for a terrific weekend. To the crew…THANK YOU!!
A quick shout out to all of our great sponsors too – The Bottle-O, TSW, Mongrel Boots, Apex Replicas, Ford, Hogs Breath and of course all of our support sponsors! See them all here: http://www.thebottleoracing.com.au/partners/
On another note I must thank my fantastic personal sponsors: TSW, Hogs Breath, Apex Steel, The Hush Dolls, Harley Heaven, Cannondale and GMX! See them all here: http://davidreynolds.wpengine.com/sponsor/