After setting some brilliant times in the opening sessions at Queensland Raceway, this afternoon’s race was a frustrating affair, with David Reynolds finishing seventh and Anton De Pasquale 26th.
Third-on-the-grid David didn’t have his usual grunt. Starting off the dirty line, Kelly beat him to the opening corner while Anton slotted into 21st. Van Gisbergen then snatched fourth place from David at the end of the first lap as the #9 driver settled into fifth as the first stint found a rhythm.
The team played an early strategy for David with a lap-twelve pit stop for three tyres only, the Penrite Holden then sent on his way before Anton repeated the move two laps later, but this time for the full set of rubber. Anton, though, was forced to head to pit lane a second time to fix a loose wheel for his final stint. At the back, it wasn’t until the stops were complete and the order settled that Anton made his way back onto the lead lap.
As tyre wear kicked in, David did his best to fend off Whincup and Courtney on almost ten-lap fresher tyres. Whincup eventually got by, but David danced with Courtney for a number of laps before the #25 tired, David holding seventh spot. He closed the gap to Mostert by over a second in the final laps but wasn’t able to make a move stick and followed him closely to the finish line.
Anton rolled out some impressive times in the final stages and was lapping as fast as the front runners, although was unable to recover after his unscheduled stop and only managed 26th by the end of lap 39.
Practice 3: 4th, 1:09.1605
Qualifying: 4th, 1:08.7217 (later elevated to 3rd)
Race 19: 7th
“I was super happy and proud of the job we did in qualifying, that’s the fastest I’ve ever been around here. We improved on our second set by 0.3-seconds which put me fourth, but I was really looking forward to the race. Although we moved up a spot when Mostert got penalised, it pushed me over to the outside line and I always like the outside line more.
“I didn’t do the best job on the start, lost a spot or two and then didn’t have as much pace as the guys in front and struggled a bit. We need to work on our race pace overnight; I think we changed the car a bit too much and we suffered, but I think we know what to do tomorrow to make our race car faster.”
ANTON DE PASQUALE
Practice 3: 19th, 1:09.6043
Qualifying: 22nd, 1:09.3080
Race 19: 26th
“We were chipping away in the first stint and trying to make some ground until we pitted pretty early on. Unfortunately, we had to pit again because one of the wheels was loose so unfortunately pitting twice in two laps hurts you a lot in such a short race.
“I didn’t really have anyone around me for position after that so I just ran my own race and chipped away at it and managed to get back on the lead lap by the end of it. Our race pace certainly wasn’t bad, I think we just need to tune our qualifying package overnight and we’ll be better off tomorrow.”