Erebus Motorsport and David Reynolds have recorded the new race lap record after 161 laps at the Bathurst 1000.
The #9 Commodore started the race from 14th position after an average run in qualifying. A quick getaway by David Reynolds at the start of the race though, saw the Holden catapult his way through to 11th before the first corner.
Rookie driver Shae Davies also got a jump from the rear of grid, shooting to 23rd before handing it over to Chris van der Drift on lap 15.
The car’s progress was halted shortly after, when an engine sensor failed and the car was forced to make an emergency pit stop. The crew frantically worked on the car, for it to re-join the field five laps later. The #4 Ultra Air Commodore’s challenge then effectively over.
With teams wondering how long until they’d see a Safety Car, the first emerged on lap 91. Both cars stopped and swapped drivers; van der Drift and Baird taking the wheel.
The Commodore of Reynolds and Baird showed pace. Targeting a top ten finish, their charge eventually faded; a vibration in the tail shaft forcing Baird into the garage and out of contention.
Baird re-joined the field on lap 116, and although a number of laps down, continued to demonstrate speed.
The main drivers eventually took back the wheel, before Reynolds recorded a time of 2:06.2769, the quickest race lap ever recorded around Mount Panorama.
The team’s relentless recovery approach eventually yielded a 17th placed finish for the duo of Davies and van der Drift, while Reynolds and Baird passed the chequered just behind in 18th.
The Championship now moves to the streets of Surfers Paradise for the final round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Shae Davies – #4 Holden Commodore
“My first Bathurst 1000 is in the record books and I’m over the moon to have finished. Chris did an awesome job all day and the team were fantastic. Unfortunately we had a drama early on with an engine sensor which put us five laps down. That was a real kick early in the race but the crew never gave up and we kept pushing. The deficit we had after that was retained the whole race and we just kept our heads down, kept pushing and ended up P17 which is perfect considering what went wrong.”
Chris van der Drift – #4 Holden Commodore
“The first part of the race was quite basic, Shae had a good start and got a few spots but then we developed a misfire. I jumped in the car and it got really bad, we had to box and spent five laps in the garage for the guys to fix it, then went back out there.
“We had a pretty solid race after that, pace wasn’t mega but we stayed out of trouble and kicked around. We didn’t go any more laps down and finished the race so that’s probably the main tick, but unfortunately we didn’t get any further up.”
David Reynolds – #9 Holden Commodore
“Today’s race obviously didn’t go to plan, we had a drama with our tail shaft mount, so we had to come in and replace that. We went a bunch of laps down so we were on the back foot after that.
“The encouraging thing is we qualified OK, we’ve learnt a lot as a team and if we come back here next year we’ve got a lot of data. It was a big learning curve.
“My car was good enough to run right at the front, but we had a bit of an engine drama. We have a straight line speed issue we need to address before the next round, we don’t believe its engine power, we believe it’s something else.
“I’m now the currently lap record older at Bathurst, so the team can walk around with pride after an average result. It’s cool.”
Craig Baird – #9 Holden Commodore
“Obviously with David finishing with the lap record is nice for the team, it’s a bit of a reward. You’re here for a week, everyone tirelessly works and to have a mechanical problem when you’re on the lead lap is hard on everybody, but that’s the game we play.
“I struggled a little bit physically; I was OK at Sandown but the loads you put through your body here are different. I was compromised bit; I sat in Dave’s seat and was comfortable but I didn’t think I would get a sciatic nerve problem. I was probably too close to the pedals and not supported in the seat, so we’ll make a couple changes to the seat before Gold Coast.”