Erebus Motorsport has pulled of an impressive recovery, after a tough start to qualifying at Sandown Raceway today.
The morning started with an all-in qualifying session before a race for co-drivers; Reynolds jagging a time best for 16th and Shae Davies 26th.
It was an unfortunate first qualifying race for #90 driver Craig Baird who took an excursion early in the race, dropping back to the rear of field.
Baird recovered well and managed to move forward to 22nd before the end of the race.
On the other side of the garage, Chris van der Drift was off to an excellent start and raced his way up to 22nd, but after charging through the chicane at turn 9, he suffered a punctured front-tyre and was forced out of contention.
With a quick turn-around, the cars were back out, but this time with the primary drivers on board to determine the grid for tomorrow’s 500-kilometre marathon.
Reynolds made up five positions during his 20-lap outing to cross the line in 17th place, while his teammate Davies showed strong, steady pace to eventually finish 25th.
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 will start at 1:15am tomorrow local time.
Shae Davies, #4 Erebus Motorsport
“Qualifying was tough; we’ve been tuning the car but with this weekend you don’t get much running so it’s been quite a struggle.
“Chris and I are continuing to learn each other’s language and what we both want out of the car.
“I don’t think I put it all together in qualifying, and I think the car was a bit out of the window. I had just jumped out of my development series car as well, so that made it a little harder.
“Throughout the qualifying races we found a bit of speed, we tuned the car up and made it better so the pace and tyre degradation during the race was pretty good.
Chris van der Drift, #4 Erebus Motorsport
“My start wasn’t great, but they quickly started crashing into each other so I just picked through them. My first few laps were good and I was managing the grip, I had no idea so I was driving quite easy to keep the rear tyres.
“Half way through the race the tyre cut along the kerb and exploded instantly, hooking me hard left. It looked like it was going to be a bigger than it was, I went sideways into the gravel but just damaged the splitter and a few minor things.
“It was a shame I didn’t get to finish the race but I’m comfortable in the car, it’s just about trying to get the power down without sacrificing too much.”
David Reynolds, #9 Erebus Motorsport
“Today didn’t go to plan, I could have got more pace out of the car but it was so close, if I had have gone one tenth faster I would have been 9th; it’s very close out there and it’s hard to do the perfect lap every time.
“I got a reasonable start in the qualifying race and passed a few cars off the line, and then got another two cars during the race. I thought my car was a loot pacier, we changed the car a lot from qualifying to try make gains so we had more pace for the race. I think its starting to translate into speed but we just need to keep the car turning through the corners and passed the apex, and get the drive traction a bit better.”
Craig Baird, #9 Erebus Motorsport
“I made a mistake in the first race, driver error, I can’t blame anyone or anything, I just made a mistake on the cold tyre and paid the price. I had a really good start, I got up to 11th and then got too excited.
“Dave drove really well in the second race but obviously had to start a bit further back because of my mistake. We came out even money, I think my mistake cost us three or four spots on the grid.
“I think tomorrow will be a totally different day. With this format, the first lap I do all day is the first lap of the race which makes it difficult. I jumped in there and got a little bit carried away.
“I think the weather conditions will play a big part tomorrow so I think a bit of experience between Dave and myself will make a very tidy combination come 5pm tomorrow afternoon.”