The #26 Penrite Racing Mustang hits the Townsville track this Friday as David Reynolds heads into Round 7 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship.
The Reid Park Street Circuit in Townsville’s CBD follows on from the previous Darwin event, which saw a unique indigenous livery proudly adorning Reynolds’ Mustang that will stay on the #26 Penrite Racing Mustang for this weekend’s event. Reynolds anticipates extreme tyre wear to mix up strategy and set up an intense two days of racing.
“I usually go pretty well in Townsville,” says the Grove Racing driver, who is keen to continue his charge up the championship ladder. “Generally the street tracks suit my driving style and the car set-up, and even though we’ve changed the car quite dramatically, the way we run our cars now should actually suit this style of circuit.”
The Reid Park Street Circuit first held a Supercar round in 2009, with this weekend’s 2022 NTI Townsville 500 hosting two days of competition, each featuring a Top Ten Shootout and an 88-lap race around the 2.860km Reid Park layout. Friday will see the Supercars on track for two practice sessions which will be open to the public.
The average speed around the Townsville circuit is 144km/h, with a top speed of 260km/h. The approach to Turn 2 off the main straight is not only the fastest part of the circuit but provides the greatest passing opportunity. It’s tight exit also means it’s often the scene of opening lap carnage.
“It’s a huge concertina at Turn 2 – we call it Turn One but it’s Turn Two on the track map – you’ve got to qualify in the first two rows otherwise you’ll probably cop some damage somewhere,” Reynolds says.
Qualifying pace should improve compared to the previous round in Darwin, where the long main straight and higher temperatures played against the Penrite Racing Mustang.
“Our time loss won’t be as bad because it’s a shorter drop ratio, and it’s not as hot – the hotter it is, the worse we tend to go engine performance-wise,” says Reynolds.
“Townsville is generally one of the hardest on tyres. This year’s going to be quite difficult to work out strategy-wise because we’re back on hard tyres for the majority of the weekend; we haven’t run the hard tyres there for a while,” he says.
“During the race we have to run a set of super-soft tyres, so there’s going to be a big speed difference between the hard and super-soft tyre. Generally the race is broken up into three stints, and where you run your tyres is completely up to you, so there’s going to be some different strategies going on.”
The indigenous livery created by Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) Boarding House Manager, Lorraine Kabbindi White, continues as this weekend’s racing takes place during NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week, held from July 3-10.
“It’s great to give the livery another run,” says Reynolds. “If our car’s fast enough on the hard tyre, we qualify well and race well and our car looks after the tyres – and I look after the tyres, I do my job – we can win.”
Reynolds currently sits in fifth place in the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship with 1111 points.
The 2022 NTI Townsville 500 takes place over July 8-10, 2022, with the first Supercars session at 10:10am local time on Friday July 8. Live coverage will be on Foxtel, Kayo and Channel Seven. Tickets can be purchased here.