Reynolds claims Supercars Melbourne 400 finale
David Reynolds claimed the final race win of the Coates Hire Supercars Melbourne 400, highlighting the championship credentials of his combination with Erebus Motorsport.
Reynolds made a superior start to Jamie Whincup and passed Car #1 into the first corner before leading all the way.
Nick Percat achieved his second podium of the weekend and best result for Brad Jones Racing in second position.
Whincup started the race from pole position but was forced to settle for third position after being held wide by Reynolds at the first corner, allowing Percat to get a run towards Turn 3.
Reynolds’ win marked his first at Erebus in solo mode and made the Holden driver the fourth Supercars race winner of the weekend and fifth of the first six races this season.
“It was a good race. I got a good start and kind of just led the race from there,” he said.
“Everything went to plan, there were no dramas, and after the battle we had yesterday in the weather, dry conditions, it’s a good way to finish.”
Tickford Racing’s Chaz Mostert was the highest Ford driver in fourth ahead of Saturday’s Race 5 winner, Scott Pye.
Shell V-Power Racing duo Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin were unable to build on their early weekend speed, finishing sixth and seventh.
Michael Caruso was the top Nissan performer in eighth place ahead of Garth Tander (Garry Rogers Motorsport) and Will Davison (23Red Racing).
While he was disappointed he couldn’t convert his pole position into a victory, Whincup’s form over the four races earned him the inaugural Larry Perkins Trophy.
“It’s sweet and sour at the moment. Just being honest, I’m filthy at myself for a shocking fourth race (of the weekend),” Whincup explained.
“I just muffed the start but hey, to grab the Larry Perkins Trophy is obviously a good job, the best job over the weekend, so we’ll take that.
“Larry came into the truck just before and he reckons it’s got a bit of titanium, he reckons it’s a high-quality trophy, so that feels good, that’ll fit nicely in the workshop.”
While Whincup earned some significant silverware over the weekend, at the back end of the field, his Triple Eight team-mate Shane van Gisbergen moved from 26th to 18th on the opening lap.
In another example of mixed fortune for a team, Reynolds was comfortable up front while team-mate Anton De Pasquale had to catch a big slide in order to stay off the wall at Turn 10 after some opening lap action.
Walkinshaw Andretti United’s James Courtney’s race was ruined on the second lap after he was turned around by James Golding (Garry Rogers Motorsport), who was hit from behind by Tim Blanchard (Brad Jones Racing).
Rick Kelly (Nissan Motorsport) then made unavoidable contact with Courtney, ending the race for both.
“We started (near) last and ended up 18th and was a cracking opening lap with Shane,” said Courtney.
“Unfortunately, I was the end of the conga line there and got spat out at the end.”
After three laps, the leading pack of Reynolds, Percat, Whincup and Mostert were separated by 1.5 seconds leaving no room for error for the front pack. Behind them, Pye was involved in a battle with Shell V-Power Racing cars for fifth place.
McLaughlin moved ahead of Coulthard on lap 7 while van Gisbergen continued his charge past the Tickford pair of Cameron Waters and Mark Winterbottom for 14th.
Golding’s day got worse after he was forced to stop car #34 on track thanks to heavy smoke, with the Safety Car called to clear it from the area after Turn 2.
Winterbottom, Waters and Blanchard all took fresh tyres during the period in a push to make some ground late in the race.
The race restarted on Lap 11, with Reynolds maintaining the lead over Percat and Whincup going into the Turn 1, while Coulthard reclaimed sixth from McLaughlin.
It turned out to be the final lap of the contest, with stewards calling the race two laps earlier than its scheduled 13.
Waters was given a five second post-race penalty, dropping car #6 further down the order.
The next event of the championship is the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains Raceway on April 6-8.
Results: Race 6, Coates Hire Supercars Melbourne 400
|1||9||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||11||25:58.6767|
|2||8||Tempur Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||11||25:59.6846|
|3||1||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:00.5872|
|4||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:01.5991|
|5||2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:02.2167|
|6||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:02.9397|
|7||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:03.4349|
|8||23||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||11||26:03.8255|
|9||33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:04.1669|
|10||230||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:04.5259|
|11||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:04.9959|
|12||888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:05.3411|
|13||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:05.6615|
|14||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||11||26:06.1232|
|15||99||Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:07.1624|
|16||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||11||26:08.3499|
|17||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:08.4173|
|18||56||Tickford Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:09.3245|
|19||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:10.1510|
|20||21||CoolDrive Racing||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:10.1582|
|21||19||Tekno Autosports||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||11||26:10.8204|
|22||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||11||26:14.2596|
|23||18||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||9||26:52.9926|
|DNF||34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||7||14:14.5925|
|DNF||25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1||2:12.4799|
|DNF||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1||2:14.6417|
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||486|
|17||Anton De Pasquale||206|
|21||Jack Le Brocq||167|
|24||Simona de Silvestro||132|