Erebus Motorsport leave New Zealand on a positive note, despite not being able to record the results they wanted at this weekend’s ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
The track continued to evolve overnight and made guessing a set-up for qualifying a nightmare. David Reynold’s cracked the team’s quickest time, qualifying for the afternoon’s two races 19th and 18th.
Shae Davies qualified 25th before cementing a time just hundredths of a second off his teammate to score his best starting spot of 20th for the afternoon’s second race.
Reynolds made a speedy getaway in the opening sprint, jumping up one spot before advancing to 17th before the finish line. Davies also climbed one spot to reach 24th.
A change of direction between races left the team confident for their second outing, however an incident on the opening lap saw Reynolds dive through the gravel trap and ultimately into pit lane.
The #9 driver collided with Rick Kelly and suffered a punctured tyre, but a quick dash for a fresh left-front saw him re-join shortly after. Reynolds returned to form, lapping times to see him third fastest.
He slotted in behind the two Triple Eight Commodores and stayed with the pair right until the finish but was unable to get back on the lead lap, rounding out the weekend 25th.
The #4 Commodore wasn’t flying at the same pace, with contact early at the hairpin leaving damage to the car and its rear downforce; Davies eventually finishing 23rd.
The Supercars Championship now moves to Sydney Olympic Park for the grand finale in four weeks’ time.
Shae Davies, #4 Holden Commodore
“Qualifying was great. The first session we didn’t quite get the car in the window on one lap but we made a few changes between sessions and had a PB in 20th. The car was really hooked up for that one lap which is what we needed, so I’m really stoked as it was a big moment for me.
“I struggled in the races, what was one-lap pace didn’t really translate to race pace. It was quick during the first part of each race but not so good in the back end. It hurt us a little bit at the end of the first race and then we tried to make some changes for the second race but we just went the wrong way. They tried something different on Dave’s car which seemed to have worked but he had some contact which put him out of the running. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we just made the wrong call. I also had some contact earlier on bent my bonnet and ruined my rear wing angle, which created oversteer and made it hard to drive.”
David Reynolds, #9 Holden Commodore
“During qualifying the car had really average balance, a lot worse than yesterday. The track has obviously evolved and we haven’t matched our car to suit. Both sessions were pretty bad because there’s only 10 minutes in between each session so you can’t change much.
“We changed our car a little bit for race one, I think we probably went the wrong direction and it was pretty bad to drive and didn’t look after its tyres well. I was able to make up one spot and keep people at bay, but it wasn’t the best.
“We changed the car dramatically for the second race, but went into turn one and got chopped up by Rick Kelly and got a flat tyre. I came in and had to put another fresh tyre on and went back out and the car was amazing. It was so good to drive and it was fast, it did most things you wanted it to. It’s unfortunate I finished two laps down but my average pace was third best with the Triple Eight cars. It’s obviously a very good learning experience, I just wish we had that setup in at the start of the day because I’d be better off; where you qualify is where you finish unless you can capitalise on others making mistakes.”