Reynolds surprised by fume inhalation

David Reynolds says his Kelly Grove Racing team will investigate how fumes got into the cabin and made him sick during one of Sunday's Supercars races at Sandown.

Reynolds surprised by fume inhalation

The Bathurst 1000 winner was rocked by fume inhalation during the first of two sprint races on Sunday, claiming he felt nauseous in the car and was left with a bad headache.

He had qualified ninth for that race but was dumped to the back of the field after a clash with Tim Slade on the second lap.

He battled on to finish 22nd, four laps down, as he dealt with fumes in cabin.

Speaking straight after the race Reynolds explained: “Just the last 15 laps it got really fumey and I was feeling like throwing up and was coughing heaps. It wasn’t fun and I had a big headache."

The issue disappeared for the final race on Sunday evening, Reynolds scoring a fine third place behind Shane van Gisbergen and Brodie Kostecki.

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Reflecting on the matter, Reynolds said a helmet fan malfunction in the second race was a contributing factor.

However he's convinced that alone wasn't to blame and says that the KGR team will look to see if there is something like an exhaust leak that affecting the internal air quality.

"Honestly I have no idea. It was really weird," said Reynolds.

"My helmet fan disconnected from my lid, so I was breathing in all the circulated air. Maybe there's a slow leak in the exhaust somewhere and it's getting in the doors.

"I don't know, we have to investigate it. There must be something filling me with poison."

Kostecki, who effectively replaced Reynolds at Erebus this season, was the last Supercars driver to be badly affected by cabin fumes. He was forced to stop on the warm-up lap for the 2019 Bathurst 1000 when a cool box failure resulted in his helmet fan sucking in dry ice.

He was treated for breathing difficulties and burning eyes before being cleared to re-join the race.

There have been instances of carbon monoxide poisoning at the Bathurst 12 Hour GT race over the years as well, the worst case coming in 2014 when Greg Crick was hospitalised after breathing in fumes from his Mercedes.

George Miedecke said nausea from fume inhalation played a part in him crashing his Aston Martin at the race in 2017, before Jamie Whincup complained about fumes after he finished second in a Mercedes in 2018.

“I was making mistakes I wouldn’t normally and I was a little bit affected by the fumes,” said Whincup at the time. “If you ask a lot of guys, the fumes are a factor.

“That ethanol fuel we run [in Supercars] is actually really clean and you never have any fume issues. But I was actually struggling a little bit with the fumes, for the first time in a long time.

“You’re a little bit dazed from the fumes, the cars are hot, big engines, the exhaust pipe literally runs down beside you in [the Mercedes].

“You’re hot, so a combination of all of those things, you’re coming across slow cars, it’s so easy to have a stack. I was lucky to get through.”

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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Sandown
Drivers David Reynolds
Teams Kelly Grove Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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