Fifth in championship ‘crushing’ for Reynolds

David Reynolds heads team-mate Lee Holdsworth at Winton Motor Raceway

David Reynolds may be off to arguably the best start to a season in his Supercars career, but there’s still some anguish attached to the 15 races thus far.

So far, he’s had six podium finishes – albeit without a win to his name – eclipsing his previous season-best to this point of five with Erebus Motorsport in 2018, though that included a win.

The Penrite Racing pilot currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship, though the what-ifs make the picture look a lot rosier.

If not for a split oil cooler in Race 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park, a clash with Mark Winterbottom at Symmons Plains in Race 3, or a left-front failure that sent him into the wall during Race 9 at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, the 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner could be a top-three runner in the title race.

Adding to the pain was the Larry Perkins Trophy which slipped through his grasp at Albert Park having finished second, second again, and third before his untimely retirement.

“Yes I’m fifth, but we’ve had DNFs or gearbox problems, or crashes, or whatnot, so if you take all of those out, I probably should be in the top three – which is even more crushing,” Reynolds told Speedcafe.com.

“Motorsport can be the most soul-destroying sport in the world, “ he laughed.

“Everyone plays the what-if game I suppose. The bloke in first probably goes, ‘Oh I could be leading by more if…’ but that’s just the competitive person in myself.

“It’s a huge contrast to last year. Last year was very tough. You’ve got to go through it sometimes to make the good times worthwhile.”

This year marks the first for Grove Racing as the sole custodians of Braeside’s Supercars team after the acquisition of the Kelly family stake.

Last year, the then-known Kelly Grove Racing finished a lowly eighth in the teams’ championship.

As it stands, the team sits a stellar fourth and less than 100 points behind Tickford Racing’s leading pair.

Investment in personnel and equipment has been the big driving force for Grove Racing, acquiring the likes of David Cauchi, formerly of Triple Eight Race Engineering, to lead the team.

While Cauchi’s arrival has been the most talked about for reasons good and bad, Reynolds said there’s a raft of reasons why the team has found pace.

“It’s not just him, I think a lot of it had to do with him coming into the team, just the processes he brings and obviously his role as a team manager he’s never done before, but he’s taken it and run with it and done an unreal job – I couldn’t be happier with his input,” said Reynolds.

“It’s everyone from myself and Lee [Holdsworth] working together, it’s the mechanics working together, it’s everyone. It’s got a good vibe going on at the minute.

“We’re trying to keep it that way. As long as we don’t get too ahead of ourselves. That’s going to be crucial I think. If the results don’t come, don’t get too agitated. That can happen.

“At the start of the year, at Tassie, we said with our car deficiencies and whatnot, if we ended up in the top eight, we’ve done an extremely good job, and I had a top four car all weekend.

“Since then, I suppose I’ve been in the top four the whole time. As long as we don’t raise our expectations too quickly, we’ll be good.”

The Repco Supercars Championship resumes at Hidden Valley Raceway for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown on June 17-19.

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