David Reynolds’ Supercars Championship bid is back on track after a giant killing weekend in Darwin as he and Shane van Gisbergen continue to chase down runaway leader Scott McLaughlin.
The joker of the pack scored his second victory of the season at Hidden Valley and heads to the next event in Townsville in just over two weeks’ time entrenched in third behind in the points McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen.
His flag to flag victory was his most dominant of the season and a late safety car did not deny the Bathurst winner. McLaughlin, though, recovered from mid-race engine dramas and Van Gisbergen came from eleventh to finish fourth, keeping both at the top of the leader board.
It proved Reynolds can mix it with the very best on his day with the car and the skills by holding McLaughlin and seven-time Champion Jamie Whincup at bay.
“My car was amazing today, I couldn’t fault it, magnificent. This has been the best weekend for us in a long time. The whole weekend has been magical,” Reynolds said.
With Townsville the halfway mark of the season and the endurance races still to come, Reynolds has kept himself in touch while Van Gisbergen’s run through the field has him well within reach.
And many will be wary of Jamie Whincup who has more wins than anyone in Townsville after he continued to claw away at points with his third behind McLaughlin today.
Having scored ARMOR ALL Pole Position, Reynolds’ team won the strategy and the race. He got a cracking start which took him from fourth to the lead at the first corner and was the first of the leaders to pit, setting the tone for the rest of the day.
“It’s pretty much business as usual for me,” he said. “I always try to get the best start I can. I hung my balls out at turn one and went a bit deeper than everyone which set the race up. We also had awesome pit stops and great strategy.”
A safety car with 16 laps to go could have hurt Reynolds but he skipped out to a big enough buffer to keep McLaughlin and Whincup at bay in the last dozen laps.
“It was pretty hot going there,” McLaughlin said. “The engine was how, I was hot, there was a lot going on there. It was a pretty solid day for us, we will take that and run.”
Earlier Rick Kelly put Nissan on the front row of the grid for the first time this season, pipping McLaughlin by just five hundredths of a second. He didn’t capitalise fully with Reynolds’ lightning fast start and did not quite get the race right, finishing eighth.
Reynolds’ team-mate Anton De Pasquale surprised the field with a scorching qualifying performance, repeating Reynolds’ efforts of yesterday when he put down the fastest lap of the session before McLaughlin bettered his time to end the session.
The 22-year-old Dunlop Super 2 Series product backed up his third in qualifying yesterday by making his first ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootout in just his seventh Supercars event. An error on his shootout lap put him tenth on the grid.
FOLLOWING TODAY’S RACE 16
| 1st – David Reynolds
2nd – Scott McLaughlin
3rd – Jamie Whincup
| 1st – Scott McLaughlin
2nd – Shane van Gisbergen
3rd – David Reynolds