TRIPLE TOP TEN FOR REYNOLDS AS FINAL FLAG FALLS AT PUKEKOHE

David Reynolds has scored Top Ten finishes in all three races at Round 10 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship. The emotional event saw a capacity crowd farewell Pukekohe Park as the series visited the New Zealand race circuit for the final time.

The ITM SuperSprint saw a three-race weekend with Reynolds starting 14th wih a 1:02.476 for the first 41-lap race on Saturday, however the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang only climbed higher for the rest of the historic weekend as he claimed Top Ten results in all three races.

Saturday afternoon’s Race 27 of the 2022 Championship saw Reynolds immediately improve after sidestepping a first lap collision between the Mustangs of Tim Slade and James Courtney. Reynolds then stormed up to the rear bumper of James Golding, before pitting early to come back out on the circuit in cleaner air.

“I was lucky that we weren’t caught up in that early incident – I keep it pinned and just pushed on!,” said Reynolds. “Pukekohe is unforgiving, and you can’t give an inch these days, as we saw throughout the weekend with some of the carnage.”

The early pit stop strategy saw Reynolds ahead of Golding following both drivers’ pit stops, the Penrite Racing Mustang climbing into the Top Ten behind Nick Percat and Broc Feeney. A Safety Car closed up the field, with the green flag being waved on Lap 27 to see the 3.5-second margin from Reynolds to Percat now a mere half-second, both drivers nabbing another place from Scott Pye. Reynolds was now ninth, where he would finish the race – a five-place improvement over his starting position.

Sunday saw two qualifying sessions before Races 28 and 29, which again were 41-lap contests around the 2.91km circuit.

Reynolds pushed the Penrite Racing Mustang to eighth on the grid for Race 28, going one better for seventh with his fastest lap of the weekend 1:02.3050 for Race 29.

“We had great pace, and while we’re still off the front-runners we showed solid consistency in qualifying, which really helps. Some weekends this year we’ve had pace but haven’t capitalised on this for qualifying and that has hampered us all weekend, so it was great to get it together in Pukekohe.”

Race 28 saw yet another incident at the high-speed circuit in the early on. Off the start, Reynolds jumped a spot after an arm-wrestle with Anton DePasquale, who was then turned into the fence at Turn 6 after colliding with Brodie Kostecki. The Mustang of DePasquale suffered significant damage, sparking a Safety Car before a Red Flag was declared with 39 laps left to run. Reynolds once again avoided the carnage to be seventh as the race was suspended.

The re-start saw the Safety Car lead the field onto the Pukekohe circuit, with the green flag waved at the commencement of Lap 6 of the 41-lap race. Reynolds was behind Scott Pye and ahead of Andre Heimgartner, the field tightly bunched with Reynolds grabbing sixth place from Broc Feeney the following lap before making his compulsory pit stop on Lap 11.

Re-joining in 20th, once the field’s pit stops had been played out Reynolds was in seventh place to improve on his starting position once again as the chequered flag fell.

Race 29 was the final Supercars race to take place at Pukekohe Park before the circuit closes in 2023 and was an emotion-charged celebration of the history and contribution made by the circuit over several decades.

The North Island venue’s last race followed form with yet another opening lap incident which eliminated James Courtney and prompted a Safety Car. Reynolds was well clear of the incident, having grabbed seventh spot from eighth on the grid. The Safety Car headed the field until the restart on Lap 12 of the 41-lapper, Reynolds losing a position to Shave van Gisbergen yet the spot being returned when Scott Pye pitted to remain seventh.

Playing the long game, Reynolds climbed up the order to be the race leader on Lap 30 when Chaz Mostert made his pit stop. The Penrite Mustang finally came in the next lap for a final stint at Pukekohe on fresh tyres and lighter fuel load. From ninth, Reynolds passed Percat on Lap 37 to improve to eighth place – where he started – before the final flag fell on the legendary New Zealand circuit.

“We managed to keep it clean, somehow, all weekend and maximised the car. What a great weekend to have before Bathurst. We come away with plenty of points but more importantly, a straight car ahead of heading to The Mountain.”

“The Kiwi fans have made it an awesome experience for the last Pukekohe weekend. It’s a great circuit and it’s a shame we won’t get to race here again. I’m so glad that the fans had such an awesome final event to remember.”

Reynolds remains seventh in the championship standings on 1742 points as the Supercars field heads to Mount Panorama, Bathurst, for the Repco Bathurst 1000 on 6-9 October, with tickets available here.

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