Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds has maintained third in the Championship fight with seventh at Townsville today, with teammate Anton De Pasquale 20th.
David got away well from fourth on the grid and attacked front row starter Jamie Whincup as pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin held his advantage. The #9 driver pulled alongside the Ford in Turn 1 but McLaughlin held firm as they swept through the following corners, managing to fend off David’s attack.
Behind them, Anton had similar luck at the start, managing to make a few spots in the early corners although eventually falling to P15 by the end of the opening lap.
As the field powered towards their first stops, a tag between James Courtney and Garth Tander at Turn 2 Lap 2 saw the GRM Commodore collide with the #99 Holden, causing some cosmetic damage.
With tyres wearing around the street circuit, David was one of the first to head to the pits from P5, triggering a range of drivers to follow, including his young teammate. The race settled again until the second round of stops were carried out on laps 43 and 44 for the last splash of fuel.
Debris on the track called the races only Safety Car on lap 55 and sent Anton into the lane for one final set of tyres. It was set to be a thrilling race to the end although when action resumed with 13 laps remaining the order at the front stayed the same and the race settled somewhat.
Both Erebus Penrite Racing drivers put on a series of fast laps but with the field bunched up Fabian Coulthard drove past David on eight-lap younger tyres; the Bathurst champ eventually crossing the line seventh. With fresher tyres on hand, Anton made his own gains and was able to move up a spot before the checkered flag.
DAVID REYNOLDS: Started 4th, Finished 7th
“Qualifying was good, but it could have been a lot better. We improved the car during the session but if we had the car we finished with at the start of the session I think we would have been on the front row.
“I got a good start and was battling good for a couple of laps but it all started to turn to custard. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a fast enough race package today. I didn’t have a lot of tyre life compared to the people I was racing at the front.”
ANTON DE PASQUALE: Started 12th, Finished 20th
“Our fastest run in qualifying was our first which was the way to go but the lap wasn’t amazing, so we set ourselves up for a hard race. I lost a little bit of time in a certain area and without that we could have put ourselves up a bit further.
“It was a tough race and we weren’t able to race forward but we’ll regroup, look at why our race package wasn’t as fast as it’s been, tune her up and go again tomorrow.”