Erebus Penrite Racing has again missed another podium, David Reynolds dropping down to fifth in the final stages of today’s race in Pukekohe.
There was heartbreak though for Anton De Pasquale, with the rookie spun around on the opening lap after starting on the fourth row.
After claiming provisional pole during the morning’s qualifying session, David eventually started from fifth on the grid. He got the jump on the start and stole fourth from Fabian Coulthard before making his way through Turn 1.
Behind them, Anton slot into ninth but later in the lap was attacked from a car behind. An opening lap squabble with Andre Heimgartner saw the #99 spin at the hairpin, sending him backwards and to the rear of field.
The team reacted and directed him into the pits the next lap, taking one of his two compulsory stops for fuel and tyres.
As the rest of the field followed, it wasn’t until lap 16 where David entered pit lane from the lead. He re-joined behind Chaz Mostert in fifth, but with more fuel on board than the #55, his sights were firmly planted on Craig Lowndes for third.
It wasn’t until the second round of stops where the strategy ploy appeared to have worked; David pitting again at the end of lap 33, coming out this time in effective third.
With Anton the second last to pit, it wasn’t until lap 42 where the young gun came out in 24th, improving two spots from his first lap spat.
The #9 Penrite Commodore held firmly on colder tyres and kept Lowndes back for as long as possible, but with the #888 shadowing, and Shane van Gisbergen not far behind, it was on lap 60 when David gave up his spot.
David crossed the finish line ten laps later only just slipping down the order to fifth, in front of his teammate Anton in 24th.
DAVID REYNOLDS – Started 5th, Finished 5th
“Anytime you are fastest in a session is good feeling, but we just couldn’t convert pole in qualifying to pole when it mattered. I did a similar time to my qualifying run, I think I got the most out of the car, we just needed to turn a little bit better here and there to find a couple of tenths.
“I got a really good start in the race, was running third and fourth for most of the race but the Triple Eight cars are very good here and got really good tyre life, and theye1r just wore me down at the end. I didn’t have much left to fight with but I had a really good battle and held on for as long as I could.
“As a team, I’m really happy. We didn’t have any issues all weekend, our stops were fast, our starts were good, we improved the cars from when we first rolled out in practice. We tuned the car up over the weekend and that’s a good sign of a good team.”
ANTON DE PASQUALE – Started 8th, Finished 24th:
“It was good to make another Shootout, it’s the coolest session to be part of and another good qualifying result for the team. My lap was good, but we used all our new tyres in qualifying to get into the Shootout so we knew we wouldn’t have much to fight with on a used set of tyres.
“I got turned around early in the race and struggled to make up ground from there.
I had an average start but got away with it and tucked in behind Lowndes. Unfortunately, I got spun at the hairpin and that was our day over. I was sent back to last and didn’t enough speed to move forward which was a disappointing end to a promising start.”