Erebus Motorsport has gone two better at today’s closing race of the Adelaide 500, David Reynolds scoring the team’s first podium of 2018 with second place and Anton De Pasquale in 17th.
Reynolds improved on yesterday’s start but was unable to hold off a fiery Mark Winterbottom, who got down the inside and moved him back to fifth.
De Pasquale, starting 19th after setting a time 0.7sec faster than Friday’s effort, managed to make a move early and move into 18th.
The race was settled until the first round of pit stops, Reynolds the first to cycle through on lap 18. The field steadied and Reynolds sat fifth ahead of De Pasquale in 18th.
A suspected transaxle failure for Jamie Whincup elevated both drivers up another spot before making their second trips through pit lane.
Reynolds squeezed every last ounce out of his tank before pitting and re-joining the effective race leader on lap 45, with a quick Shane van Gisbergen on his tail.
With colder tyres, a tricky manoeuvre down at turn nine saw the position untenable, dropping back to second before finding his stride and reapplying the pressure.
Reynolds remained right behind van Gisbergen, holding the gap to under one second right up until the finish line, where he crossed in second.
De Pasquale showed some spectacular moves racing against the categories best, holding his position until he finished his 78-lap run in 17th, first again of the rookies.
Reynolds leaves the weekend 2nd in the Championship, with De Pasquale in 16th.
DAVID REYNOLDS, Finished: 2nd, Started: 4th
“I didn’t expect to be thrown into the lead battle coming out of the pits, it was a very good feeling. I had a good run out of turns 4 and 7 and thought I had it in turn 8 but it was a good move by Shane and on cold tyres there wasn’t much I thought I could do.
“Every time I have come here I haven’t had the best result, so I’ve certainly surprised myself this weekend. If you said I was going to have a fourth and second, and come out of this round second in the Championship, I would take it every day of the week. I am very happy, although I’m also disappointed I didn’t hold off Shane for the win because I ended up faster than him a few laps later. It’s a lesson I will learn and probably something I won’t do next time. We have some good momentum coming off last season and now this weekend, so I’m looking forward to getting to the next one.”
ANTON DE PASQUALE, Finished: 17th, Started: 19th
“We were able to close the gap to the leaders and to Dave in qualifying, improving 0.7seconds to where I had in Friday’s session, and weren’t too far off the pace. I didn’t get the most out of my lap but it was certainly an improvement from where we were the days before.
“I was able to move up a couple positions off the start, battle a lot of experienced front-runners; racing against them was a really good experience and I was able to learn a lot. Coming away from the weekend with a clean car and top rookie is very good for the team and I can’t wait to keep building from here.”