V8 Supercars larrikin David Reynolds has taken a gritty win this afternoon at the ITM 500 in Auckland, following a catastrophic tyre failure for Championship contender Craig Lowndes.
“It was like a missile hit his car and exploded,” said Reynolds of Lowndes’ 230km/h incident.
“I was a bit scared when it happened, but as soon as I knew he was OK we were good to go, and I was first.”
As a result of the win, Reynolds has jumped to second place in the Championship behind his Prodrive Racing teammate Mark Winterbottom.
Reynolds now believes he can challenge for the Championship win, and potentially take the number one plate to his new-for-2016 team, Erebus Motorsport.
“There’s 750 points up for grabs, and I’m 287 behind – not that I’m counting,” said Reynolds.
“Anything can happen,” he said. “It’s definitely possible.”
Reynolds had a sensational battle with six-time Champion Jamie Whincup late in the last race of the day, with both men enjoying the challenge.
“It was a great day, my car was really fast,” said Whincup, who won the first race of the day – his first since Sydney Motorsport Park in August.
“Lowndesy spinning off at the front was nuts. It was just like Super Mario Kart
“It was good to hear that he was alright.”
Whincup has now been mathematically ruled out of Championship contention, 771 points behind Mark Winterbottom with only 750 remaining to be won. He was philosophical about the prospect of handing over his number one status.
“I’ve had a good day,” Whincup said.
“Maybe I won’t have as good a day when I realise that I’m going to have to hand that number one over to someone else, but I’ve had a fantastic four years representing it.”
“I’ll happily hand it over to the guy that deserves it the most.”
Local favourite Scott McLaughlin finished the final race in third place, to the cheers of the supportive Pukekohe crowd.
“It was pretty cool. I’ve never seen a crowd so happy about a person finishing third. They were going off,” said McLaughlin.
“It was an awesome race. That last battle (between Reynolds and Whincup) was really cool, and I had box seats for it.”
“I was hoping they’d be side by side for a bit longer and I could creep up on them, but it was good racing.”
Whincup leads the race for the Jason Richards Trophy – awarded to the best driver at the New Zealand event – with qualifying and a single 200km race ahead tomorrow.
V8 SUPERCARS RADIO STORIES
Ford Driver David Reynolds has shared the spoils with Holden’s Jamie Whincup in races 28 and 29 of the V8 Supercars season in New Zealand
The Mercedes bound Reynolds fought hard to keep the lead and has moved into second place in the Championship behind teammate Mark Winterbottom
He says he will be fighting hard to claim his maiden title
GRAB: Reynolds on Championship
Four time V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup has taken his fourth win of the year by claiming the first of three races in New Zealand
Dave Reynolds won the second race of the day after race leader Craig Lowndes had a tyre blow out which put him out if the race
Whincup says Lowndes’ misfortune was amazing to watch
Reigning V8 Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup is mathematically out of the running for a fifth title even though he claimed two podiums including a race win in New Zealand
The 32 year old won race 28 of the season with Ford’s Dave Reynolds claiming race 29
Whincup says he’s not ready to end the season just yet
GRAB: Whincup on Championship