Erebus Motorsport has secured two spots inside the top ten for tomorrow’s Wilson Security Sandown 500.
A progressive grid determined tomorrow’s position, with a 20-minute qualifying the first order of the day.
David Reynolds set the fastest lap of the session with seven minutes left on the clock, while Wood couldn’t find the same speed and qualified P18.
Handing the wheel over to the co-drivers for the first of two 20-lap Race for the Grid sprints, Luke Youlden made the most of Reynolds’ earlier effort to beat the rest of the field home.
Chris Pither also impressed, making up a tremendous eight spots from 18th by the end of lap one. Cruising inside the top ten, he gained one more to ninth before the chequered flag.
The rest was then left up to the main drivers, with 19 laps to run once the lights went out.
Reynolds wasn’t able to hold onto the front spot though, and dropped two spots before the first corner. That didn’t stop him though; setting some of the fastest laps of the race, the #9 driver stayed close behind the leading pair and ended the race in third.
It was the opposite for Wood, who flew off the start line to sixth spot in the opening corners. He stuck with the category’s heavyweights right until the end, before losing one spot just before the finish line.
Youlden and Pither will start tomorrow’s big race, starting off the second and fourth row.
David Reynolds – #9 Erebus Penrite Racing
“It was great to get our first pole in this package, but unfortunately we still had some work to do. Luke did an awesome job and won the first race and it was then all up to me but I got a bad start and ended up third into turn one. I was in a good battle with McLaughlin and was right there putting heaps of pressure on him but he was making no mistakes and our pace was pretty much the same for the first ten laps before he started to get away. I got some pressure from Whincup during the last ten laps but was able to defend him off and finish third. We need to improve our car over a distance for tomorrow and as long as we have good stops and strategy we’ll have a good day.”
Luke Youlden – #9 Erebus Penrite Racing
“Starting on the front row is pretty mega, and I just tried to concentrate on procedure and managed to get a good start. I led into turn one and controlled the race for the journey. We had really good pace initially and had a decent gap to Premat but mid-way through the race a couple little moments hurt our tyre life which brought them back a little too close for comfort but was able to hang in there. Starting from pole and leading today gives me good confidence to do something similar tomorrow. Even though we’ll be from the second row this time, I’m confident we’ll be there or there abouts over the first few laps; it’s just a matter of whether the car can hang onto it tyres as the car that looks after its tyres the best will win the race.”
Dale Wood – #99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing
“It’s a good way to be starting the 500; had a bit of a struggle getting an understanding of the car in qualifying but handed it over to Chris who did a stellar job and set the bar very high. I got a good start from 9th and got into 6th, but couldn’t keep Chaz behind me and ended up dropping a spot to 7th, but still a good spot to be starting tomorrow.”
Chris Pither – #99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing
“Today was the first chance I got to really do some consecutive laps in the dry and get comfortable. Our running yesterday was quite limited before the rain came so I just enjoyed getting into a groove and obviously that was aided by a good start. I did nothing too fancy but managed to get the car to hook up well off the line and had good momentum throughout the first couple laps going forward. Overal, pretty happy with the result; to finish in the top ten was my aim and Dale did a great job too in his seat to put us 7th for the start of the big race tomorrow. A perfect start to the weekend, and I’ll try duplicate it again tomorrow!”