Reynard scored its first sportscar pole position after Briton Guy Smith topped the times in a thrilling qualifying session for Sunday's Monza 1000Km FIA Sportscar Championship event.
Smith, drafted in specially to the Redman Bright squad for the five and a half-hour classic event, stole the top spot in the closing moments of the half-hour session to displace Jan Lammers' new Dome chassis by less than two tenths of a second with a 1m40.474s lap.
Formula 3000 star Sebastien Bourdais then came close to pipping Smith by setting a time just 0.113s slower, in his Pescarolo Sport Courage-Peugeot C60, which unofficially topped the speed trap times at the end of the pits at 202mph.
The Frenchman might even have taken pole, but just as he was winding up for a final crack on the very last lap, he ran short of fuel and could only cruise round to the pits.
"I think this pole is a credit to the Reynard-Judd, and there's still a lot more time to come from it," said Smith, who will join Bentley's Le Mans squad for the 24 Hours in June. "Even on my best lap I had a very hairy moment at the Parabolica, and I thought I'd blown it, but the time was good enough."
Reynard managing director Mark Smithson, who is the regular pilot of the Redman Bright car with Peter Owen, was thrilled with the achievement for the heavily-revised 01Q chassis.
"I believe in the ability of this car, and we've spent a lot of time developing it and unlocking the potential. Getting Guy into the team this weekend has given us chance to show that," he said.
The Reynard's pole on the dry but greasy track was also a great boost for tyre supplier Avon, which stepped up to the SR1 class for the first time this season, beating a field full of Goodyear runners.
With the top six cars separated by less than a second, Smith reckons its too close to call who will come out on top in the race, especially as the two new Dome-Judds are finding their form.
"The main competition can come from anybody in this series," he said, "and the race is going to be very close. It's great to be in a series where it's anybody's guess who will win."
The separate qualifying session for the SR2 class also produced fireworks, with Swede Thed Bjork grapping pole from Fabio Mancini's BM Autosport Tampolli-Alfa on the very last lap in the Swedish Racing Team's Lola-Nissan B2K/40.
"I had to overtake a cruising car on the Parabolica on that final lap," said Bjork. "I thought that would ruin it, but luckily I'd done enough elsewhere on the circuit to top the times."
SR1 final qualifying times
1 Smith/Owen/Smithson, Redman Bright Reynard-Judd 01Q, 1m40.474s
2 Bourdais/Boullion/Redon, Pescarolo Sport Courage-Peugeot C60, 1m40.587s
3 Lammers/Hillebrand, Racing for Holland Dome-Judd S101, 1m40.639s
4 Nielsen/Katoh, RN Motorsport Dome-Judd S101, 1m41.029s
5 Lupberger/Collins, Team Ascari Ascari-Judd A410, 1m41.138s
6 Pescatori/Zadra M, Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP, 1m41.441s
7 Calderari/Bryner/Zadra A, Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP, 1m43.424s
8 Baldi/Capelli, R&M Racing Riley & Scott-Judd MkIII, 1m43.496s
9 De Radigues/Formato/Hancock, Kremer Lola-Ford B98/K2001, 1m44.779s
10 Lavaggi/Vann, GVL Racing Ferrari-Judd 333SP, 1m59.334s
1 Bjork/Oberto, Swedish Racing Team Lola-Nissan B2K/40, 1m50.879s
2 Monti/Mancini/Nobili, BM Autosport Tampolli-Alfa RT99, 1m50.977s
3 Tonetti/Saccomanno, Tonetti Lucchini-Alfa 2001, 1m51.447s
4 Zardo/Prospero, Lucchini-Alfa 99, 1m51.559s
5 Corradi/Chiminell/Vallebona, Tonetti Lucchini-Alfa 2000, 1m52.615s
6 Wiseman/Mallock/McLoughlin, Swara Pilbeam-Nissan MP84, 1m53.563s
Abu Dhabi / Results
Standings / After 17 races
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|Emilia Romagna||Imola||18 Apr|
|Monaco||Monte Carlo||23 May|
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Berlin / Results
|2||Nyck de Vries||47m23.447s|
Standings / After 11 races
|1||Antonio Felix da Costa||158|
|Browse full championship table|
|Diriyah||Diriyah||26 Feb 2021|
|Diriyah||Diriyah||27 Feb 2021|
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