David Reynolds (racing driver)
David Reynolds in 2012
|V8 Supercar Record|
|Current team||Rod Nash Racing|
|2014 Championship position||15th (1789 pts)|
Reynolds stepped into a national series campaign in the 2003 Australian Formula Ford Championship, finishing outside the top ten at series end. For 2004 Reynolds joined the Sonic Motor Racing Services for what would be four years and bring two national championships. First came victory in the 2004 Australian Formula Ford Championship. Stepping away from open wheelers Reynolds became part of Team Sonic expansion into Carrera Cup Australia. Finishing fifth in his first season, Reynolds stepped into third as the series transitioned from the Porsche 996 to the Porsche 997 in the 2006 season. After a season long battle with Alex Davison and Craig Baird, Reynolds claimed the 2007 title.
Reynolds 2007 form in Carrera Cup made him a natural fit for an endurance race co-driver slot and was pencilled in to drive with the HSV Dealer Team, until Paul Radisich became available after he left Team Kiwi Racing and Reynolds was traded into a co-drive with Cameron McConville at Paul Weel Racing but the team failed to finish the Sandown 500 and Bathurst ended before the race start as the engine failed on the warm-up lap.
With Team Sonic not yet ready to step into the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, Reynolds needed a new team for 2008. He found one in 2007 Fujitsu Series Champions, Tony D'Alberto Racing, finishing fourth in his first season. The 2008 enduros were a repeat of 2007 however. Again a DNF co-driving with Paul Dumbrell at the Phillip Island 500 preceded another Bathurst 1000 on the sidelines after his gave up his seat in Dumbrell's car for Rick Kelly after Radisich's career-ending crash in Kelly's car during practice left Kelly without a car to race.
In 2009, Reynolds drove for Walkinshaw Racing alongside Paul Dumbrell. He put on some strong performances throughout the year, but was generally struck with bad luck. An incredibly strong performance at Barbagallo Raceway where he was running in the top three for most of the race came unstuck when a delaminated front left tyre put him in the sand trap at turn 6. Reynolds eventually finished 22nd in the #24 Bundaberg Red Racing VE Commodore. He eventually finished his rookie season in 22nd place, without contract for 2010.
For 2010, Reynolds was retained by Walkinshaw Racing for the endurance events, joining Will Davison in the #22 HRT Commodore at Phillip Island and Bathurst. The no. 22 HRT car had a strong showing at the Bathurst 1000, with the car being in the top three for most of the day, however only a handful of laps from the end Will Davison hit the inside wall at Sulman Park and was then flung into the outside wall, ending their chances at mountain success. Despite the rules for 2010 meaning that one driver of each two cars had to have international pedigree, Reynolds was further retained for the Gold Coast 600 joining Fabian Coulthard in the #24 Bundaberg Commodore.
For the 2011 season, Reynolds joined Kelly Racing to drive the teams #16 Stratco Commodore. A few top 5 finishes were recorded with David placing a credible 19th overall. From midway through the 2011 season, David had contract disputes with Kelly Racing. This boiled over when remarks from Reynolds' engineer towards Rick Kelly caused said engineer to be fired. Reynolds stated he was unsure if he would race at Bathurst that year, much less the rest of the season. However, despite this turmoil, Reynolds (paired with Tim Blanchard) qualified an impressive seventh for the great race but after issues finished 19th. From the contract issues going on within Kelly Racing, Reynolds was released from his contract after only one year of his two year deal.
In 2012, David switched manufacturers to join Rod Nash Racing and Ford to drive the teams #55 Bottle-O Falcon prepared by Ford Performance Racing and engineered by James Small, ironically replacing his former co-driver, retiring Paul Dumbrell. Reynolds started the season well, with front row qualifying positions and top ten results becoming frequent occurrences for the Bottle-O racer. However, bad luck marred results such as a cool suit failure in the first race in Adelaide resulting in a crash at turn 8, Garth Tander breaking his steering at Symmons plains, a tyre bundle breaking his front suspension in New Zealand, a refueller problem while he was leading at Phillip Island, and a gearbox issue at Barbagallo formed an inconsistent first part of the season. Reynolds scored his first pole position at Townsville after numerous front-row starts, but couldn't manage to keep the car up the front eventually finishing sixth. Coming into the endurance races Reynolds was paired with Dean Canto who in previous years had driven with Dumbrell in the #55. The car had good car pace, again being on the front row for the Sandown 500 and eventually finishing 6th. For the 2012 Bathurst 1000 the Bottle-O team paid homage to the 1967 Bathurst winning car of Fred Gibson and Harry Firth, a 1967 Ford Falcon GT with the team also changed the number to 52. Reynolds qualified the car 8th, and by lap 26 after switching drivers they were running fourth. A delaminated tyre on the lead #6 car of John McIntyre and a pass on Luke Youlden in the #9 left Canto in second place by lap 36. After running an alternate strategy for much of the mid part of the race, the safety car on lap 106 for Jason Bright's car at Murray's corner meant that in in their pitstop they had to put less fuel into the car as they had come in later than the cars around them. This jumped them from alternately running fifth to legitimately running second behind leader Jamie Whincup. This order continued from here, where the #52 car had great pace in the latter part of the race and finished agonizingly close to Whincup, with the time between the two being the second closest at that point and Whincup having hardly any fuel left in his car. It was stated by Reynolds after the race that the double stacking of the Stone Brothers Racing cars in pit lane at the lap 106 stop cost them valuable seconds as Reynolds had to wait behind them after his pit stop, which could have cost them the race. Nonetheless, it was a well deserved and overdue podium for the Bottle-O team and the first podium for Reynolds. Reynolds had a consistent back end of the 2012 season, with three more top-ten finishes but mixed with some bad luck, such as Garth Tander yet again breaking the steering of the #55 car when moving over in the braking zone at the end of the first race at Surfers Paradise after running well inside the top ten and his international co-driver, Nick Heidfeld, avoided the startline chaos, and Reynolds shoe melting in the sweltering temperatures in the first race in Sydney and the team having to perform a 'shoe change' in one of the stops. Reynolds eventually finished the season in a personal best 9th place, only two points behind the eighth place car of Lee Holdsworth.
For 2013, Reynolds' engineer switched to the #5 of Mark Winterbottom and Nathaniel Osborne was allocated to the #55 car. Reynolds season started poorly, with no placing higher than 14th in the first 2 rounds and a crash at the hairpin at Symmons Plains that nearly put the Bottle-O Falcon over the railing. In New Zealand things took a turn for the better with good car speed resulting in 4 top ten finishes in the 4 races with a highest place of 5th. The consistent qualifying and race results continued up to the endurance events, hitting a high point in Hidden Valley where Reynolds scored 2 more pole positions and a podium in the final race. He was set to score a podium in the first race as well before a desperate and poorly executed move by teammate Mark Winterbottom for the second position in the closing stages of the race, which saw Winterbottom lock up the rear brakes and turn Reynolds around at turn 6. This relegated Reynolds back to position 14 and from the subsequent drive-through penalty Winterbottom the #5 finished 17th. In the endurance races the Bottle-O Ford was competitive just as it was the previous year. Reynolds was again paired with Dean Canto and qualified sixth at the Sandown 500 before tyre issues put them back to 17th in the final standings after running strongly all day. For the Bathurst 1000 Reynolds qualified the car 9th after a botched shootout lap, and for most of the race were in the top 7 cars. In the final laps of the race Reynolds was fast closing on the battling cars of Jason Bright, Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes for third, fourth and fifth and had just passed Bright for fifth position when he was told that he didn't have enough fuel to make it to the end. A quick stop two laps from the end relegated him to ninth place, disappointing for the team but valuable points nonetheless. For the final endurance round at Surfers Paradise Reynolds was able to retain Canto as his co-driver and the pair came home in eighth in the first race. For the second race Reynolds qualified on pole and led much of the early part of the race. After the first round of pitstops James Courtney's co-driver Greg Murphy passed Canto for the lead and the #55 maintained second position. Continuing a streak of bad luck for the #22 Holden Racing Team car since Murphy crashing at Bathurst and the day before when turned into the fence by Whincup's co-driver Dumbrell, the right front suspension of the car broke from hitting the curbs too hard with less than twenty laps to go. Reynolds took his maiden V8 Supercars victory, promptly receiving a kiss from team owner Rod Nash after parking his car. In his typical funny-man style, he threw pot plants off the podium to his team and as the presentation was being undertaken took Armor-All Man's (Armor-All being the naming-rights sponsor of the event) foam hammer and hit his co-driver Dean Canto in the crotch. For the last five races of 2013 Reynolds had a consistent run, apart from the first race at Phillip Island where he was running in the top ten before an out of control Alex Premat collided heavily with the car behind him (James Courtney), tagging the back of Reynolds and spinning him around. He would eventually finish 22nd with a sub-standard back end of his car. From here he had top twelve results with an incredible run of luck at the last round in Sydney. Early in the first race he was vaulted up on two wheels after Mark Winterbottom turned around Craig Lowndes at turn 10, this would usually leave substantial damage to the suspension or steering but he continued on to finish 11th. In the final race of the season he qualified an uncharacteristic 17th, but through clever strategy and staying out of trouble at the treacherous circuit he was up to third by the last restart, eventually finishing fourth. Reynolds again finished the season in 9th position after a poor run of electrical problems for his closest competitor in tenth, Scott McLaughlin.
In 2014 Reynolds was again the pilot for the #55 Rod Nash Racing Bottle-O Falcon, with the car taking on a different look after acquiring Jim Beam Devil's Cut as the secondary sponsor replacing Canadian Club. Reynolds season again started with mix results, following a trend of poor results in the short, two race 'sprint' races but top ten results in the longer races that gave more points. This took a turn for the better after Symmons Plains where he claimed 17 top 15 results from 18 races, with an unfortunate tyre delamination in the last race in New Zealand when he was running in third place being the only omission. However, from the last race at Queensland Raceway where he qualified and finished in last place until the first race at Surfers Paradise Dean Canto and himself endured a run of terrible luck. In the first race at a drying Sydney Motorsport Park he was turned around by James Moffat at turn three and was then hit heavily by Tim Slade. The team were able to get the car out for the second race that day, but Reynolds, not known for his wet-weather driving, struggled in the treacherous conditions only managing 13th from starting 8th. In the last race where the track was dry, Reynolds was again spun around again by teammate Winterbottom for the second time in two seasons, at the same corner as he had been 2 races earlier. He collected Scott Pye on his way to heavy back end contact with the concrete wall, with both Fords out of the race and Winterbottom being given a drive-through penalty for his efforts, with the #5 eventually finishing 20th. For the Sandown 500 the Bottle-O team again tried an alternate strategy as Reynolds could only manage an 8th place qualifying position. The team would start Reynolds in the car while nearly all the other teams would start their co-drivers. This paid off as Reynolds made his way up to third position in his stint, then giving the car to Canto who maintained position. A perfectly timed safety car for their strategy looked to be putting the team on for their first podium of the season, but when getting in the car in the second driver change Reynolds tapped the accelerator, spinning the wheels of the car while it was on the air jacks. This is illegal in the V8 Supercars Championship for safety reasons, and they were given a drive through penalty, but recovered to finish 9th. The Bathurst 1000 looked to be a good weekend for the #55, as the car was in the top three in all the free practice sessions, breaking the lap record in the final Thursday practice with a 2:06.3714, over half a second quicker than Craig Lowndes' lap four years earlier. However, qualifying was a different story. Early in the session on his first flying lap Reynolds had to go slightly wide at Reid Park because of a trundling Todd Kelly. This unsettled the car enough and put it on the dirty part of the track, causing it to smash into the outside wall at over 200kph. Reynolds later stated 'I knew the car was stuffed when I saw one of the wheels roll past me'. An exclusion from the session for fellow Ford driver and eventual Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert and the #2 HRT car not taking part in the race ensued that Reynolds started the race from 24th position. Again the Bottle-O team ran an alternate strategy, pitting at different times to the cars around them. This, consistent safety cars and raw car speed left them well inside the top ten by the middle of the race, and at the red flag period on lap 61 were sitting in second position. The car continued on to lap 102, where under safety car period and running second in the race alternator problems forced them to retire. This was heartbreak for the team after a tumultuous weekend, with Dean Canto visibly upset and being comforted by the team after seeing the car stopped on Mountain Straight on the television coverage. The issues were found to not be from the crash in qualifying, but rather in the red flag period, where for over an hour the alternator was keeping the dry ice bucket used for the driver's cool suit cold while the engine was off. Hopes of rebounding at the last endurance event in Surfers Paradise were dashed when while running in the top five cars Reynolds clipped a tyre bundle in the back chicane. He drove on for a couple corners before a right front suspension component gave way and put the #55 in the fence at turn 6. Yet another retirement left Reynolds squandering in the points standings, but the car was repaired in time for the race the next day where he and Canto finished a respectable 6th. The end of the season was consistent for Reynolds, a nice change for the team. However, a decent result went begging at the final race at Phillip Island, where an unsafe release out of his pit bay resulted in contact with Jason Bright. Reynolds would have been well inside the top ten had it not have been for this, but instead finished the race 22nd. At the final round in Sydney Reynolds showed good qualifying speed, benefiting from a red flag in the qualifying session he started from third and maintained that position to achieve his first podium of the season. However, consistent heavy storms in the late afternoon of each day dropped him down the order of the following races and these races were soon red-flagged because of the treacherous conditions. Reynolds eventually finished the season a disappointing 15th after showing early promise and being a high of 8th in the championship standings. Bad luck and unfortunate accidents in high point scoring races were the downfall of his championship position in 2014.
For 2015 Reynolds is in the final year of his contract at Bottle-O Rod Nash Racing, and with Ford not supporting V8 Supercars from 2016 onwards it may well be his last year at the team. The cars will be upgraded for the first time since 2009 with the introduction of the FGX V8 Supercar for the Pepsi Max team at the beginning of the season and the other cars, including Reynolds, soon after.