Grove Racing breaks 1323-day drought

David Reynolds (left) and Lee Holdsworth celebrate their Race 7 podium. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Grove Racing has broken a double-podium dry spell dating back to 2018 for the Braeside-based Supercars squad at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 today.

More than four and a half years ago, Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso claimed second and third at the inaugural Repco Supercars Championship race at The Bend Motorsport Park for the then-known, Nissan-backed Kelly Racing.

Now, 1323 days after its last double podium, the team now known as Grove Racing has had both its drivers stand on the dais.

David Reynolds led the team’s efforts, finishing second in Race 7 of the 2022 season.

Just behind, team-mate Lee Holdsworth was gifted third after James Courtney and Chaz Mostert collided at the last corner on the last lap, sparking additional celebrations in the Grove Racing camp.

For Holdsworth, it was a landmark occasion, recording his first podium with Grove Racing in only his third event with them.

“It’s a bit of a monkey off the shoulder I guess,” said Holdsworth.

“You come in with high expectations, but you’ve also got to be realistic when you join a new team, new engineer. It takes time.

“Hopefully it’s starting to click and we can just keep improving from here and get up with this bloke [Reynolds] every race.”

Holdsworth’s drive to the podium came from a lowly 15th on the grid while team-mate Reynolds started and finished in second.

For the 2021 Bathurst 1000 winner, the double podium finish was a surprise.

“Obviously we didn’t expect a double podium here,” Holdsworth added.

“It’s so awesome. And then to come from 15th to third is just amazing.

“The car was good. I’m still trying to dial it in a little bit for me, but a lot happier in that race. Hopefully we can push forward in today’s race as well this afternoon.”

Reynolds was similarly upbeat after his second straight podium.

However, he conceded he was never going to be able to catch Race 7 winner Shane van Gisbergen.

“Once Shane got in front, he was a lot faster than me, so I was just trying to manage the gap to the guys behind me,” said Reynolds.

“I think I was doing a good job trying to manage my tyres because I still don’t know how hard to push on the hard tyre. It was a pretty good race.

“I’m really happy for Lee, that’s a fantastic result from 15th to third. Couldn’t be happier. It’s Brenton [Grove’s] birthday as well. It’s a good present for him.”

Race 8 gets underway at 14:20 local time/AEST.

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