Early shower for Reindler in Townsville A promising debut appearance at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 quickly turned sour for V8 Supercar rookie Karl Reindler last weekend. Until a second lap incident forced the West Australian's retirement from...
Early shower for Reindler in Townsville
A promising debut appearance at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 quickly turned sour for V8 Supercar rookie Karl Reindler last weekend. Until a second lap incident forced the West Australian's retirement from Sunday's race, the weekend had been going to plan for the Fair Dinkum Sheds team.
After a positive day learning the track on Friday, Reindler qualified in 21st position for Saturday's Race 15 of the championship. His 1:14.14 second lap put the #21 Commodore just half a second outside a place in the 'Top 10 Shootout'.
"It was good to be knocking on the door of the top 20 again in qualifying," he said. "Despite the fact that 2009 was the first race in Townsville, there were only three drivers in this year's field that hadn't raced a V8 Supercar at the circuit before. So to be ahead of eight other guys was pleasing.
"I was a bit disappointed at the same time, because my very last flying lap was looking good to put us around 16th, but unfortunately I locked a tyre in the final sector which immediately cost us half a second.
"But to have learnt the track -- and made a few set-up tweaks -- on Friday, and then come out on Saturday morning and be where we were was a good result for us."
Saturday's race was a long one for the drivers, running the full 200km without a single Safety Car intervention. Reindler's cause was not helped when the traditional opening lap tussle saw the Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore emerge with slightly re-aligned steering, although a long first-stint saw the rookie move to the front of the field by lap 24.
Reindler led the race for three laps before making his first of two pit-stops -- where he lost valuable time with a stuck front wheel nut. The 25 year old eventually finished the race in 21st position, having emerged from his second stop ahead of former Bathurst winners Jason Bargwanna and Greg Murphy, and holding them out to the flag.
"You don't get anything for free in this category -- these races are hard yakka," he said afterward. "I thought we were going to be up against it after the steering took a tweak in the opening lap action -- Steven Johnson pushed us out over the kerb at Turn 7 and that cost us a few spots.
"The rest of the race however showed the progress we've made so far this year with both me and the car. Our strategy allowed me to have clean track for a while there, as well as lead the race -- and we showed really consistent car pace throughout."
Happy with the speed and consistency of the car, and thoroughly enjoying the Townsville track layout, Reindler had the right to be very optimistic on Sunday morning.
Qualifying for Race 16 saw Reindler produce a 1:13.69 second lap -- almost half a second faster than the previous day, and less than one second away from pole position. The result was 23rd on the grid, edging out Stone Brothers Racing driver Alex Davison, who had started Hidden Valley's Sunday race from pole two weeks earlier.
Unfortunately the race was to be a short-lived affair.
"The actual start was fantastic," explained Reindler.
"The data showed a 0-100kph time of 3.6 seconds, which is the best I've had all year.
"Unfortunately we dropped back to second last on the opening lap avoiding other people's incidents, and then we were involved in one of our own.
"I was easily down the inside of Tony Ricciardello at the final corner, but I had to pull it up pretty hard to avoid the guys in front, and Tony came straight across the front of the car. That must have bent the front splitter mount, because when I put the brakes on at the end of the main straight it just locked the wheel straight away, skidding along on the splitter this caused more contact with Tony, and ended our race.
"It's so disappointing, but that's the way it is sometimes in such a close and competitive field, especially on the street tracks. There's so much 'bump and grind' going on in the opening laps, and there's no way you can get out of it.
"The most positive thing we can take out of the weekend is that we showed that we have the potential to really push into the top 20 in qualifying. If we can start that little bit further up, hopefully we'll avoid getting involved in the sort of incident that cost us so dearly today."
The V8 Supercar Championship Series now begins a nine week break, before the teams head to Phillip Island for the L&H 500 on September 10-12. Karl Reindler is proudly supported by Brad Jones Racing, Fair Dinkum Homes & Sheds, No Fear, Oakley, Biante, Thomson Aviation, Winston Mines and National Tyres.
-source: Karl Reindler