Tassie slump no cause for Darwin reset at Grove
By Damion Smy
Tuesday 13th June, 2023 - 2:00pm
Grove Racing says that the team isn’t scratching its collective head for this weekend’s Hidden Valley Supercars round in Darwin despite an out-of-sorts run at last month’s outing in Tasmania.
While it was Matt Payne’s first time in a Supercar at Symmons Plains, as a 2023 rookie in the #19 Penrite Racing Mustang, David Reynolds wasn’t able to repeat the form he’d shown after a podium at the season-opener in Newcastle, and another third in Perth.
Reynolds qualified 23rd, 9th and 18th across the three races in Tasmania, with results of 16th in Race 10, 23rd after a clash with Shane van Gisbergen in Race 11, and 12th in Race 12. Payne posted a pair of 15th placings and a 21st.
“I still think [if] we take Tasmania out of it, which has got that funny hairpin that makes everything quite funny, I think our cars are still one of the fastest out there,” Reynolds told Speedcafe.
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“Our car didn’t turn there [at the hairpin],” Reynolds added. “And then we tried to make a change and made it really bad for all the other corners, so we still had bad turn at the hairpin just went worse every else. So it was just one of those one of those corners, one of those weekends where we just couldn’t, how we run our cars, it didn’t like it.
“So we’re kind of not going to change a whole lot [for Darwin]. We’re not going to throw all the toys out of the car for just that one round; we’re just going to go with what we know and what we still think is best and go from there.
Despite the setback, Reynolds still eighth in the championship standings after four rounds.
Team Principal David Cauchi reaffirms Reynold’s notion that the results on the Apple Isle are no cause for a major reset in the team’s approach, but rather came down to the dramatic Turn 4 hairpin that shakes up the run around the 2.41km layout.
“I think Symmons Plains, when we look back, we sort of knew at the time we were weak at the hairpin,” Team Principal David Cauchi told Speedcafe.
“And certainly, you know, in trying to fix that, we probably got rid of all of our other strengths around the other parts of the circuit.”
Hidden Valley, which includes a much flatter, longer double-apex Turn 1 that comes off a 1.1-kilometre main straight, one of the longest on the Supercars calendar, that Cauchi said will not pose the problem.
“We’re not at all doing anything radical. We haven’t, you know, flipped the thing upside down or anything like that, yet.” he said.
“There’s just something that now we probably understand a lot better than we did at the time of why our car didn’t work there [Tasmania].
“But I think now we’re just basically going back to, you know, our philosophy that’s been working up until that point, and I see no reason why we can’t be competitive.”