Erebus Motorsport have put their best foot forward, despite some challenges, at this weekend’s Ipswich SuperSprint.
After the team looked set for a strong weekend in South-East Queensland, the set-up window deemed too narrow and the young squad were unable to crack the perfect car balance.
David Reynolds qualified for today’s 200-kilometre race 19th, while Craig Baird would start the mini-marathon 25th.
Both Holden Commodores were quick off the line, jumping up the queue in the opening laps; Reynolds sitting 16th and Baird 22nd by the end of lap 2.
Reynolds continued to make his way through the pack, battling Garth Tander for a number of laps before passing him for 14th.
With some early stoppers in the race, Reynolds made his way safely inside the top ten before pitting for fuel and tyres on lap 15.
A longer stop saw him re-join the pack 26th, looking for a late pay-off. Baird pitted shortly after.
An excursion by Scott Pye at turn 6 saw a quick call to pit Reynolds in the event of a possibly Safety Car. However, one never eventuated and the #9 driver re-joined the field in 19th.
Baird impressed, displaying times just one tenth of a second off his teammate, while Reynolds was looking at a possible top-ten finish.
Under strict instruction to conserve fuel, Reynolds however, dropped to 23rd in the closing stages of the race; Baird jumping to 22nd before the checkered flag.
Craig Baird, #4 Erebus Motorsport Hungry Jacks Racing
“I feel really comfortable now and to be within a tenth of Dave’s fastest time of the race is the biggest thing for me, so that’s a really good tick in the box before I head to Sandown.
“I think we probably ran our strategies too long, but we wanted to do something completely left field of what everyone else was doing. When you start that far back it is pointless to roll through with everyone else.
“I really enjoyed the weekend and am looking forward to moving forward with team, trying to give a little feedback of the strengths and weaknesses moving forward towards Sydney and the enduros.
“It’s basically a new team with a new car, they didn’t have a window that they could come back to as part of a base setup.”
Barry Ryan, General Manager of Motorsport
“I’d like to make a special thanks to Craig, who did exactly what we required of him, given the difficult situation our team was placed in over the past week.
“It is a credit to Craig, to enter a sprint round, knowing just how competitive this category is and knowing that placing was going to be hard to achieve.
“He is a true professional and this weekend displayed that.”
David Reynolds, #9 Erebus Motorsport Penrite Racing
“Last round was one of our best weekends and this weekend didn’t go to plan, although we definitely improved today, my car was much better than it was yesterday.
“I got a reasonable start and was racing with Tander and Moffat before coming into the pits. We put another set of tyres on and what felt like a lot of fuel, so my last stop would be a lot shorter. The middle stint the car was working fantastically and had reasonable tyre life. After the second stop our back was up against the wall, I was battling and coasted around the last lap and took the checkered flag.
“Car speed is paramount and if you’ve got a fast car you can race at the front. This track is hard, it looks simple and boring but it is very technical and difficult to understand.
“This weekend almost needed to happen to make sure we do the little things and produce a winning race car again.”