Erebus Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds and Luke Youlden have delivered a strong drive to fourth at the Gold Coast 600 today, while Anton De Pasquale and Will Brown’s run was cut short.
Luke drove the #9 Holden from third off the start line, although it Will down in 16thwho impressed most, charging hard to 13thin the opening minutes.
Luke looked to make some ground and the task was made easier when Paul Dumbrell and Alex Premat tangled at the front. Luke steered clear, swiftly moving into fourth.
Further back Will was on the move too. The rookie looked for a change on Garry Jacobson and dived past for 12th on lap 21.
His course came undone soon after though; a mistake coming out of the first chicane saw the #99 find the wall at the exit of turn three, before getting tagged by Steve Owen. Will and Anton unable to continue.
The incident brought out the Safety Car and a flurry of pit stops. Luke dived into the pit lane and after taking on a set of tyres and fuel he re-joined in fourth.
The former Bathurst champion continued to rise and a battle pack for second formed at the pointy end of the field. By lap 58 Luke had taken the wanted spot, just in time for the second round of stops.
As the field returned with their main drivers, strategies for each team began to unfold; the Erebus Penrite Holden re-joining in fifth.
Pushing hard to reel in Craig Lowndes and James Courtney for a podium position, David closed the gap to 0.1-second in the very final laps before looking to make a last-minute move.
The gap now gone, David made multiple dives at Courtney right up until the closing lap, but unable to get it done cleanly, the #9 settled for fourth by the checkered flag.
“It was a pretty good day, qualified for the Shootout in third and managed to keep the same spot heading into the race. It was a really good starting position and Luke did a good job for us. He didn’t make any mistakes, had decent pace and brought the car home in a good spot. The race happened in the pits though, we got jumped in the stop by Lowndes and Courtney. I felt like I had more pace at the end of the race than Courtney, but I couldn’t do much about it, so I finished right on his bumper. It’s a really hard track to pass and there’s a lot of risk involved, and it just wasn’t the day to do that.”
“Fourth is great and a much better than a lot of places but it’s bittersweet to be so close to the podium. Being a little disappointed shows how competitive this team is and what we think we can achieve.
“There was a bit going on in my stint, I didn’t have the best start but I settled into a rhythm and we had reasonable tyre life; we could hang there and start to reel them back in. Obviously, the Safety Car came out at the wrong time for a co-diver which meant we had to do a long stint but I had some good dices out there. A couple things worked against us in the end, but the car is obviously fast and we’re not that far away.
ANTON DE PASQUALE:
“Qualified 16th wasn’t bad today, we were pretty happy with where we were considering the limited track time we have had so far this weekend. We were in a position to fight for a top ten from there and Will had a pretty good start in the race. He made a few spots but unfortunately tagged one of the walls and it was an early finish for us. The car’s not as bad as it looks, and we can try improve tomorrow.”
“The start of the race was quite good, got a couple of spots off the line, picked off Garry and was running around comfortably. I wasn’t doing anything silly but made a mistake at turn 3; not sure what it was, the set up into 1 you generally get a bit crossed up into 2 and it goes from there, but I think my setup was good and I’ve just made a mistakes and got too close to the wall and tagged it. It’s really disappointing for the team and they’ve got a bit of extra work now which you never want. Our pace was good when we were running around and I was quite comfortable though, so I think we’ll be able to have a good day tomorrow.”