Erebus boss hails ‘huge’ best ever qualifying
Erebus Motorsport team principal Barry Ryan has paid tribute to his squad after it recorded a best ever showing in a Supercars Armor All qualifying session at Hidden Valley Raceway.
The Erebus Holden Commodores sandwiched Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin in the qualifying with 0.16s covering the top three.
While admitting the job is only half compete with a 42 lap race coming up, Ryan believes the performance was a huge milestone moment for the team.
He feels the results validate the efforts and decisions made by the operation over the last year.
Erebus Motorsport’s only other pole position arrived in 2014 when Will Davison topped qualifying for the opening race of the Sydney Olympic Park season finale.
“We are never going to beat Bathurst of last year but this is pretty huge,” Ryan told Speedcafe.com.
“It was an exceptional effort from both drivers and the whole team.
“We have worked pretty hard and made some pretty good decision in the last six to 12 months and it is all paying off; we haven’t made it yet though.”
The moment proved emotional for the drivers too with Reynolds revealing his first pole for the team brought a tear to his eye.
“It means a lot to me (to beat McLaughlin to pole), usually he’s like the qualifying king,” said Reynolds.
“(I) can’t be any happier; I was actually crying a little bit in the car after that because we haven’t had a pole position with this team. This is unbelievable”
Ryan was particular impressed with the performance from young gun De Pasquale, who netted his sixth top 10 start of the campaign.
The Dunlop Super2 Series graduate claimed his first top five start in only his 15th qualifying session the main game.
Remarkably this weekend is also his first race meeting at Hidden Valley Raceway.
“We have seen the potential all year and he is really finding his feet learning these cars,” Ryan said of De Pasquale.
“He had never been here before and he has done an exceptional job. He made some mistakes on those laps too so he could have easily been on pole.”
De Pasquale believes he could have been a lot closer to his team-mate had he not made an error on his flying lap.
“It is really good and exciting for the whole team. The car is in a pretty good window,” De Pasquale told Speedcafe.com.
“We have had pretty good pace all weekend and we have been there at times and it is my first time here so even then there are some things I wasn’t doing right, and it could have pushed me closer to Dave.
“Overall it is a surprise but you go to bed each night expecting to be the world’s best driver at the same time. I’m really happy but still a lot to work on.”
However, the focus will now shift to converting the qualifying positions in this afternoon’s 42 lap race.
Ryan is hopeful his two chargers will enjoy a clear run in the encounter.
“We have just got to see how they go and hopefully they both get good starts,” added Ryan.
“We will have to split the strategy a bit so they don’t have to stack if there is a Safety Car.
“We just want good results. We have been focusing pretty hard on clean pit stops and have upgraded all our equipment, its all coming together.”
Race 15 is due to start at 1615 local time, 1645 AEST.