David Reynolds is smiling again, and not just because he’s survived abseiling on Castle Hill in Townsville.
After a tortured time on the Erebus roadshow without his pitlane partner Alistair McVean, the clown prince of Supercars thinks he now has the support crew he needs to drive back to the front.
McVean is rejoining the Erebus technical team for Townsville1 from his home in Melbourne in a partnership with Reynolds’ long-term data engineer, Tom Moore.
“We’ve getting back on track,” Reynolds tells Race News
“If I can end up anywhere on the podium this weekend, that would be a huge turnaround. That’s what I’m aiming for. Of course.”
Reynolds enjoys the Reid Park circuit and has done well there in the past, even after his controversial collision last year with Scott McLaughlin.
“Yeah, I like Townsville. The circuit seems to suit me and our cars.”
He is also happy to have the abseiling behind him and to focus on racing.
“It’s way more scary than racing. Your life is hanging by this thin piece of rope,” he says.
“You think of all the stuff that’s happening. And I don’t know anything about it. It would only take a tiny mishap . . . “
He is not planning any mistakes this weekend, after the Penrite team battled through a tough time for both Reynolds and Anton de Pasquale at Darwin2.
“Last year our car was on pole here on Saturday and we had a podium going until the last pitstop. So hopefully the car will be pretty fast.”
Reynolds isn’t expecting McVean to wave a magic wand, but he is confident of a stronger engineering base for the rest of the season.
“My approach is always the same to every race, but it’s good that Al’s going to be having a bit more input from Melbourne. We’re going to be in communication in the sessions and after the sessions more often.
“Al brings a lot of experience, a lot of calmness and a lot of trust. I’ve known Al since my Walkinshaw days and I could always see how good he was.”
The other key person in the new package, Moore, has already been working closely with McVean and Erebus boss, Barry Ryan, and is keen to step up after travelling to Darwin.
“It has been pretty eye-opening time,” Moore says.
“I was definitely aware of all the extra work that the Race Engineers take on, but when you step into the role yourself it becomes so many more things and you realise how time consuming it can be and much more stress it adds to your day-to-day workload.”
The new Erebus engineering hub is being made easier by experience during the Supercars E-Series earlier in the year.
“Tom has implemented a plan and we are using video conferencing and other communication solutions to ensure Alistair is right by his side the entire way,” says Ryan.