V8 Supercar rookie David Reynolds is preparing for one of the biggest moments of his career as he readies himself for the Clipsal 500, which kicks off his first full-time ride in the series.
Reynolds and the new Bundaberg Red Racing crew have been working tirelessly over the off-season to pull together the necessary resources for the first event of 2009, in Adelaide this weekend, but have had little time to show any first night nerves as, following a two day pre-season test last week, he flew across the Tasman to compete in the final round of the New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup, where he finished second overall.
“I am a little nervous, to be honest,” Reynolds admitted as he and the crew made some final preparations to his #24 Commodore, “I am not really sure what to expect and everyone has been telling me that Clipsal is the hottest, hardest and longest race of the year. My aim is just to put together a clean lap in qualifying and race hard - but, most importantly, I must finish both races.”
Unlike some of the other Melbourne-based V8 Supercar teams, Bundaberg Red Racing elected to use two of its allocated 2009 test days to build up momentum for the youngster ahead of the start of the season. Working through an extensive programme, the test allowed Reynolds to get plenty of mileage and become comfortable with the car, as well as building a rapport with his new team-mates.
“I was very impressed with the way our team worked and communicated together over those two hard working days,” Reynolds reflected, “The 'Bundy' car was great! I am learning how to mould the set-up to suit my driving style, which is completely different to when I competed in the endurance events the last few years, because I was always trying to drive someone else's set-up. We ran into a few seating problems, which were causing me a lot of cramps, but we should have that solved come the first session in Adelaide.”
The newcomer also found the time to ensure his fitness is up to scratch – an important factor come the first round of the year.
“I have been very busy trying to finalise everything prior to Clipsal and trying to fit in some last minute training,” he revealed, “We have been working really hard with our team of trainers and trying a few new things which should help our recovery between two long races. It has also been great training with the other Walkinshaw Racing guys and taking in some of their advice for the season.”