Reynolds/Youlden in line for Bathurst 1000 reunion
Tuesday 19th January, 2021 - 8:20am
David Reynolds looks set to reunite with Bathurst 1000-winning co-driver Luke Youlden for this year’s Great Race.
Youlden announced his retirement from co-driving duties at the end of 2019, ending a streak of 20 straight Bathurst 1000 starts.
However, Speedcafe.com understands the 42-year-old is in line to make a return with Reynolds at his newfound home Kelly Grove Racing after a one-year hiatus.
Speaking on the latest Parked Up podcast episode, Youlden hinted that he wasn’t far away from securing a drive.
“I think you’re right Tony, I think I’ll be there this year, I think I’ll be there with you,” Youlden said when asked by podcast co-host Tony D’Alberto if a 2021 return was on the cards.
“I’m not in a position to make that announcement yet, but there’s been lots of interest.”
Youlden said he believed there had been renewed interest from teams to sign experienced co-drivers with just one endurance race on the calendar.
He also noted a handful of co-drivers in recent years making the step up to full-time drives, notably Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki who will race for Erebus Motorsport this year.
“I think the other reason is that you get a lot of young guys, you talk about Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki, these sort of guys are moving up,” Youlden explained.
“It’s quite a unique timeframe for experienced guys like myself I guess. Steve Owen is another one, I’m thinking of off the top of my head, these sort of guys have done a lot of Bathurst [1000s].
“Maybe even [Dean] Canto, I’m not sure what he’s up to. Again, it puts us in a pretty strong position to come back I think.
“I did say I retired from Supercars, but again, COVID has changed a lot. The fact that it’s one race, lots of things have changed I guess in two years.”
In late 2019 when Youlden announced his retirement, the seven-time Supercars podium finisher said it was becoming increasingly difficult to turn up and race after an extended period away from the championship.
However, a full-time campaign in this year’s Porsche Payce Carrera Cup Australia has given Youlden newfound interest in co-driving.
That campaign, Youlden said, will put him in good stead for the Bathurst 1000.
“The initial plan was just to do Carrera Cup,” he explained.
“It’s a championship I’ve wanted to really compete in since ’05 and actually try and win. It’s just one of those bucket list things I want to try and do.
“As a by-product of that, it gives me a full season of racing and that’s opened the door up then for the Supercars opportunity at Bathurst.
“I think if I wasn’t racing Carrera Cup this year, I’m not sure I would have had probably the same interest from teams leading into Bathurst.
“It is important to be doing miles and I think that’s what let me down in 2019 is the fact that it had been 10 years for me just basically getting off the couch, racing at Bathurst, and competing against guys that are in Super2, TCR, Carrera Cup, whatever they’re doing to stay sharp.
“I thought I did a reasonable job not doing much racing for the last 10 years and then just rocking up and doing the grand finale if you like.
“I think this year, I’m really looking forward to doing a full season and being sharp leading into the enduro for a change.”
Youlden also noted that he had been in talks with another team, which Speedcafe.com understands to have been Erebus Motorsport, but that “things have changed” since late last year.
As it stands, only a handful of co-drivers have been announced for the forthcoming Repco Bathurst 1000, which takes place on October 7-10.