Reynolds hails “hardest-working” Grove crew after GC500 win
Monday 30th October, 2023 - 6:00am
David Reynolds has attributed his drought-breaking victory to the hard work of his Penrite Racing team as well as a parity adjustment for the Ford Mustangs.
Reynolds prevailed over Repco Supercars Championship leader Brodie Kostecki by just 0.1889s in a thrilling conclusion to the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, his first race win since the final day of the 2018 season.
After a mid-season slump, Grove Racing’s form began to turn upwards at The Bend, off the back of a low-profile test day, although results in the enduros largely belied its true pace due to various dramas.
At Surfers Paradise, though, the Braeside-based squad boasted a genuine two-pronged attack for victory, with rookie Matt Payne qualifying on the front row for Saturday’s Race 25 and ran second in Race 26 before letting his team-mate, who had fuel time in his favour, chase after Kostecki.
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In fact, it was a relatively strong weekend for Ford outfits broadly, to say the least, considering Reynolds’ and Cam Waters’ victories doubled the Blue Oval’s tally for 2023, in the first event since a second new aerodynamic package was introduced for the Mustang.
On Grove’s turnaround, Reynolds said, “To be honest, we’ve been working really hard all year. Every session, every race, every practice session, [and] every test day, we work really hard.
“These are the hardest-working bunch of people I’ve ever worked with and we sort of found a nice set-up window to play in, and that’s been really good [for] the last couple of rounds.
“But obviously, there’s been a parity adjustment to the Ford, which actually gave us the opportunity this weekend to perform on an equal playing field – a similar/equal playing field.
“So, probably without that, I wouldn’t be sitting here, and thanks to the category for doing that.”
Payne, who had never driven the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit at all before this year’s Gold Coast 500, came up one position shy of giving Grove a double podium in Race 26.
Reynolds’ win, meanwhile, was his first for Grove Racing, its first as Grove Racing as opposed to Kelly Grove Racing (which fielded Andre Heimgartner for a victory at The Bend in 2021), and the first for David Cauchi as a Team Principal.
Reynolds, who is off to Team 18 next year, declared it Grove’s best weekend since he joined KGR in 2021.
“I think it’s been a fantastic weekend for our boys,” he remarked.
“Our little Penrite Racing team has done really well. Every session, I’ve been fast, [and] Matt’s been super-fast.
“Third [in Race 25], two front row starts, and a win [in Race 26], I can’t ask for anything more.
“That was the best weekend we’ve had as a team together in the last three years.”
The 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner is now 12th in the drivers’ championship and Payne 14th, with Grove seventh in the teams’ standings ahead of the season-ending Vailo Adelaide 500 on November 23-26.