Bathurst 1000: Reynolds/Youlden take chaotic victory

David Reynolds and Luke Youlden are the 2017 Bathurst 1000 Champions, after a turbulent race run through changing weather conditions.

Bathurst 1000: Reynolds/Youlden take chaotic victory
David Reynolds, Luke Youlden, Erebus Motorsport Holden
David Reynolds, Luke Youlden, Erebus Motorsport Holden
Chaz Mostert, Steve Owen, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert, Steve Owen, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert, Steve Owen, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Cameron Waters, Richie Stanaway, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Cameron Waters, Richie Stanaway, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Start: Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford leads

Having been in the hunt all day, the #9 Erebus Commodore had to survive a number of late Safety Car periods, a tricky switch to slick tyres, and a fuel economy race to take an incredible Bathurst win.

The key was the second-last restart of the day, on Lap 145 of 161. Reynolds, sitting fourth in the queue behind Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander, and Nick Percat, watched the seas part for him even before the race had restarted.

With some light rain falling on pitlane, and the entire field having switched to slicks, leader van Gisbergen and Tander both ran wide at the last corner.

That gave Percat a surprise lead, with Reynolds hot on his heels in the tricky damp conditions. The pair staged a brief, but unforgiving, battle for the lead, Reynolds barging his way past and into the lead on the second lap.

He quickly built the lead out to six seconds, before the likes of a recovering van Gisbergen started to make in-roads.

But when van Gisbergen had a high-speed off at The Chase trying to pass Scott Pye for second place on Lap 151, the #97 Red Bull Holden’s day was done.

Another Safety Car, to recover Simona de Silvestro’s crashed Nissan from the main straight, alleviated any fuel concerns for Reynolds, but put Pye and Percat hot on his heels.

However, Reynolds wasn’t going to be beaten, quickly stretching a gap after the Lap 156 restart to secure a stunning Bathurst 1000 win for the minnow Erebus squad.

“I’ve got nothing left to give, I am absolutely spent,” said Reynolds. “Man it was just a perfect day, it’s so good.”

“It’s taken a long time, but to do it with Dave, to do it with this team, unbelievable feeling,” added Youlden, who won at his 18th attempt at the Great Race.

Scott Pye and Warren Luff came home second, the #02 HSV Commodore making up ground through the Safety Cars late in the race.

After they started way back in 20th, it was actually Luff’s blinding first stint against the main drivers that put the car into contention, before a safe passage through the carnage secured a well-earned podium finish.

Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto finished third, having emerged as contenders thanks to having stopped twice under the Lap 134 Safety Car to take on extra fuel. It meant Coulthard could run hard to the finish, and might have done even better had it not been for the additional two cautions at the end.

Dale Wood and Chris Pither capped off a remarkable day for Erebus with fourth place, while van Gisbergen recovered to fifth. It looked like he was only going to make it to sixth, only for Mark Winterbottom, running fifth, to slam into the wall on the penultimate lap.

That rounded out what finished up being a terrible race for Prodrive Racing, with Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert both caught up in the Lap 145 restart carnage. It was particularly costly for Mostert, who was well and truly in contention for victory, and could have at least made huge strides in his title bid. He and Steve Owen finished back in 10th.

What could have been a game-changer of a day for the title fight was somewhat neutralised by engine dramas for Jamie Whincup in the final third of the race.

With Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat already out thanks to their Lap 76 retirement due to an engine problem, Whincup was set to take over as the championship leader.

But that all came crashing down on Lap 121 when Whincup was forced into the garage with a power plant issue of his own. He made a brief reappearance after going five laps down, but was quickly back in the pits.

He did reappear late in the race so he’d be classified, coming home 24th and 37 laps off the lead.

There was still a change in the lead of the standings, as Coulthard is now on top with 2431 points. Whincup is 91 points behind in second, six points clear of former leader McLaughlin.

ClaDriverCarLapsTime
1 9 australia  David Reynolds 
Luke Youlden 
Holden Commodore VF 161  
2 2 australia  Warren Luff 
australia  Scott Pye 
Holden Commodore VF 161 3.8995
3 12 Tony D'Alberto 
new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard 
Ford Falcon FG/X 161 4.5913
4 99 australia  Dale Wood 
new_zealand  Chris Pither 
Holden Commodore VF 161 6.3450
5 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen
australia  Matt Campbell 
Holden Commodore VF 161 10.6260
6 23 australia  Michael Caruso 
australia  Dean Fiore 
Nissan Altima 161 13.6874
7 20 australia  Todd Kelly 
australia  Jack Le Brocq 
Nissan Altima 161 24.3004
8 56 australia  Jason Bright 
australia  Garry Jacobson 
Ford Falcon FG-X 161 28.1647
9 14 australia  Tim Slade 
australia  Ash Walsh 
Holden Commodore VF 161 29.6276
10 55 australia  Steven Owen 
australia  Chaz Mostert 
Ford Falcon FG-X 161 59.3060
11 888 new_zealand  Steven Richards 
australia  Craig Lowndes 
Holden Commodore VF 160 1 lap
12 21 australia  Tim Blanchard 
australia  Todd Hazelwood 
Holden Commodore VF 160 1 lap
13 15 australia  Rick Kelly 
australia  David Wall 
Nissan Altima 159 2 laps
14 19 Jonathon Webb 
australia  Will Davison 
Holden Commodore VF 159 2 laps
15 62 australia  Alex Davison 
australia  Alex Rullo 
Holden Commodore VF 159 2 laps
16 6 new_zealand  Richie Stanaway 
australia  Cameron Waters 
Ford Falcon FG-X 159 2 laps
17 3 australia  Aaren Russell 
australia  Taz Douglas 
Holden Commodore VF 154 7 laps
18 33 australia  Garth Tander 
australia  James Golding 
Holden Commodore VF 152 9 laps
19 22 australia  James Courtney 
australia  Jack Perkins 
Holden Commodore VF 147 14 laps
20 88 australia  Jamie Whincup 
australia  Paul Dumbrell 
Holden Commodore VF 124 37 laps
  8 australia  Nick Percat 
australia  Macauley Jones 
Holden Commodore VF 160 1'18.4188
  5 australia  Mark Winterbottom 
australia  Dean Canto 
Ford Falcon FG-X 159  
  78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro 
australia  David Russell 
Nissan Altima 152  
  34 australia  James Moffat 
australia  Richard Muscat 
Holden Commodore VF 141  
  18 australia  Lee Holdsworth 
australia  Karl Reindler 
Holden Commodore VF 76  
  17 france  Alexandre Prémat 
new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin 
Ford Falcon FG-X 74  
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