Erebus Motorsport V8 head to Bathurst on a positive note, despite some drama’s in today’s Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Starting from grid position 17, Craig Baird made a cracking getaway to move up one spot before the yellow flag was drawn midway through the opening lap. Chris van der Drift also made his way up three spots to 23rd before the stoppage.
The race was suspended shortly after as crews worked to fix the tyre barriers.
The race was held up for 25-minutes before racing resumed for a time-certain finish.
Shortened to 143 laps after a huge crash on the opening lap forced the race to be suspended.
With rain drops starting to fall and cars sliding off track, Baird pitted for wet tyres and a dash of fuel on lap 36; van der Drift following the way.
Returning to the track in 15th and 22nd respectively, both drivers chipped their way through the field.
Baird was the first co-driver to step aside, David Reynolds re-joining the race in 25th position, before chipping his way through the field.
As a dry line started to form on track, Baird pitted for slicks, and this time for a driver change. As he entered the lane though, rain started to fall and it was a last-minute call to remain on wets.
A second safety car emerged at the beginning of lap 54, with majority of the field dicing for pit lane. Van der Drift jumped out, with Davies opting to join the field on slick tyres. With the track deemed too wet, Davies re-pitted for wets just six laps later.
The slippery conditions continued to play havoc with the field, but both Erebus drivers continued their strong form. Reynolds impressed racking up the fifth fastest lap of the race before passing the checkered flag 20th, Davies not far behind in 23rd.
The team now put their best foot forward ahead of the biggest race of year, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Shae Davies, #4 Erebus Motorsport
“It’s slightly disappointing because you always hope for more. We had a rollbar issue in the car which was a shame, and made it a bit difficult to drive. Going in from the warm-up to the race I felt quite good, but unfortunately in the race we had that drama which hurt our pace overall.
“We got some good pace by the end of the race which was encouraging and we’ll be pushing hard at Bathurst. We’ll look at ways we can improve, and things we fell short on this weekend; there are certainly improvements to find in me and also the car. We’ll gel as a team, and we’ll get better and better every round.”
Chris van der Drift, #4 Erebus Motorsport
“I held my own at the start but then I just dropped way back, I had nothing more I could give. When it started to rain it got really slippery and we picked the right time to change the tyres. Once we stopped I actually had really good fun, I managed to find my own way around and was really enjoying it. I wish the rain stuck around a lot longer, when they called me in I didn’t want to pit, I was having too much fun.
“It was looking aright for the rest of the race, but Shae had a problem needing to make another stop and that hurt us.
“It was good to get some laps in the rain, and have reasonable pace and actually start to catch people. We finished without too many dramas; it would have been nicer to have a better result but it could have been worse.”
David Reynolds, #9 Erebus Motorsport
“By the time I got in the car we were a lap down and I was just trying to get my lap back. There was a miscommunication with Craig and the engineers and he pitted too early, dropping down a lap, but that’s racing. That happens a lot more than you think, especially in these longer races because there’s so many things that could go wrong. It’s a big team effort but we learnt a lot.”
Craig Baird, #9 Erebus Motorsport
“It was a tough race and weather conditions played into it. We ran midfield at the beginning of the race and we could have jumped into the top ten or out of the mid-field just from when you pitted. We pitted exactly when the rain started again and we were caught short and never really caught up from that.
“Dave’s race pace was good; I think mine was also reasonable against the other co-drivers. It was one of those races that not everyone got right, and even the bigger teams, so it just shows how tough it was out there.”