Saturday in Winton proved to be a race to forget for Erebus Motorsport, as opening lap contact sent David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale down the order.
It all began from the start. Both Erebus Commodores were off to flyers when the lights went out, ninth-placed De Pasquale held his advantage over Nick Percat and behind him, teammate Reynolds was able to make some moves.
But disaster struck when Reynolds was caught between contact with Le Brocq and Stanaway, with the latter spinning on the opening lap. The #9 driver did his best to avoid the scene but copped a nudge from Simona de Silvestro just after, causing a flat right front, steering damage and ultimately a journey to pit lane.
De Pasquale had troubles of his own, battling with James Courtney on the same lap; the #99 Commodore was forced off the road and down to 16th.
With Reynolds in the garage as the team did what they could do to get the car back on track, the race settled until De Pasquale made his pit stop at the end of lap 13. The rookie re-joined in P21 and with plenty of pace on fresh tyres, he made an impressive move on Nick Percat on lap 24, and Cam Waters one lap later to produce 15th.
Reynolds who had yet to make a stop, raced until lap 25, pitting under safety car with Tim Blanchard’s Holden in the gravel. With fresh tyres on the restart, Reynolds showed impressive pace but it was little too late for him, left with P25 ahead of Waters who was forced to retire. De Pasquale continued his impressive performance and managed a solid recovery, edging up to 12th before the finish line.
DAVID REYNOLDS: Started 17th, Finished 25th
“Today was the worst day we’ve had in a long time. We didn’t qualify where we should have and unfortunately that set up our day. Especially around such a littile track, you’re always going to find yourself in a bit of chaos.
I got a good start with probably contributed to my dramas, I got to the crime scene a bit quick. I did my best to avoid Le Brocq and Stanaway, I made it through but Simona chopped me up and damaged my steering. The boys did a good job to get back out in six laps and finish with as many points as we could. We only lost one spot in the Championship so that’s lucky.”
ANTON DE PASQUALE: Started 9th, Finished 12th
“Qualifying was good again, it’s something we have been quite consistent with lately. The first half of the lap was good, I had a good start but come off the road with some help at turn nine which put me back seven positions. We copped a bit of bruising but overall we had decent speed and could fight my way back to 12th. I think there’s certainly some positive signs there to take into tomorrow.”