David Reynolds feared he’d suffered an engine failure as he begin his Top 10 Shootout lap for Saturday’s opening race at the Superloop Adelaide 500.
The Penrite Racing driver recorded the second best time of the shootout, his time falling just 0.0048s shy of Jamie Whincup’s pole lap.
That was set despite smoke pouring off the #9 entry throughout his flying lap, an issue which progressively got worse as he navigated the Adelaide Parklands Circuit.
“I first realised I had a problem out of Turn 11 on my warm-up lap,” Reynolds admitted.
“The smoke started coming in and I thought I was in a Cheech and Chong movie!
“I started my lap and it started getting worse and worse so I was like ‘my engine’s gone, it’s done’ but I got through (Turn) 1 and I was like ‘oh, it’s not too bad’, got through (Turn) 4, ‘it’s not too bad’ and then onto the back straight it started coming in more and more.
“I got on the radio and said ‘I think we’re done, shut it off, and he was like ‘no, keep going, sectors are good’ so I pushed hard through (Turn) 8.
“I was committed in 8, if something had let go there I was in the fence hard but I finished my lap pretty well.
“The last corner there was so much smoke coming in I could barely see the track.”
Speaking to Speedcafe.com after the session, Erebus CEO Barry Ryan confirmed the source of the smoke.
“It’s just a power steering hose that for some reason failed,” Ryan confirmed.
“It’s something we’ve run for a couple of years, so we’ll take it as a one off, put a new hose on and keep going.”
Ryan admitted he was nervous during Reynolds lap not knowing precisely what the problem was, suggesting it may have been ‘debriss’ on track.
Talking about the lap, Reynolds admitted he was left disappointed to miss out on pole after what he felt was a strong lap.
“The boys have done a good job and the Penrite car’s made a good start to the year,” he said.
“I just go off feel because if I run that predictive lap I get too excited, lock a brake and veer off. It was good lap but I’m just disappointed I missed the pole.”
The power steering issue for Reynolds followed a similar issue for Jack Le Brocq, the Supercheap Auto Mustang driver forced to sit out Qualifying 2 as his Tickford crew effected repairs.
Reynolds will line up alongside Whincup on the front row for this afternoon’s opening 78 lap race as part of the Adelaide 500.