Sandown 500: David Reynolds edges Jamie Whincup in qualifying race

David Reynolds and Luke Youlden will start Supercars' Sandown 500 from pole position, after Reynolds held off a hard-charging Jamie Whincup in the second qualifying race

Sandown 500: David Reynolds edges Jamie Whincup in qualifying race

Reynolds and Whincup staged a thrilling battle in the closing stages of the second 20-lap heat that determines the grid for Sunday's main race, the reigning Bathurst 1000 winner doing just enough to secure pole for the first enduro of the season.

Andre Heimgartner started the second qualifying race from pole thanks to co-driver Aaren Russell's success in the opening heat earlier on Saturday, but the Nissan driver blew his chance even before the lights went out.

Heimgartner crept out of his grid box a handful of seconds early, which was followed up by a sluggish getaway.

That was great news for Reynolds, who got a clear getaway from the outside of the front row and streaked into the lead.

By the end of the first lap the Erebus driver was 2.1 seconds clear of Scott McLaughlin, that advantage going out to 2.6s two laps later when the first safety car was called.

The culprit for the caution was James Courtney, the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver firing into the wall on the run down to Dandenong Road, plucking the right front wheel off his Commodore, and coming to rest in the gravel.

The restart went green on lap eight of 20, Reynolds picking up where he left off. He had little trouble pulling a gap to the two Penske Fords behind him.

The biggest threat to his lead was further back. From sitting sixth at the restart, Whincup went on a charge. He quickly cleared Nick Percat, before pulling off a pair of daring moves at Turn 6 to dispose of Mark Winterbottom and Fabian Coulthard.

On lap 13 he eased past McLaughlin into Turn 1 to take second, leaving him with a 1.3s gap to Reynolds.

With two laps to go the gap was nothing, Whincup glued to the back of the Erebus Holden. But that was as close as it got, Reynolds holding off the reigning series champion by 0.2s.

"It was a bizarre, crazy day, but it was all set up by Luke who did an amazing job for us in the fully wet conditions," said Reynolds.

"We got very lucky with the strategy call. If we were the lead car at that point we probably would have pitted like Anton did.

"Things just organically happened today and we kind of benefited from it.

"That last couple of laps, my rear tyres had gone off, I was struggling a bit and Jamie was a lot faster than me, so I'm ever-so-grateful to get pole."

Scott McLaughlin finished the race third, the title contender cruising around just ahead of Coulthard after the pair were passed by Whincup.

Winterbottom was fifth, while Heimgartner came home sixth after his troublesome start.

Chaz Mostert and Tim Slade were next, with Anton De Pasquale surviving a wild final-lap battle with Triple Eight pair Craig Lowndes and Shane van Gisbergen to finish ninth.

Lowndes ended up getting the better of that intra-team battle with van Gisbergen, the pair swapping spots a couple of times in the latter stages of the race.

Van Gisbergen had got by Lowndes, a logical outcome given the finely-balanced title fight, but Lowndes hit back on the final lap and squeezed his way back past into 10th.

That means he and Steve Richards will start from the outside of the fifth row on Sunday, while van Gisbergen and Earl Bamber will be on the inside of the sixth row.

shares
comments
DJR Team Penske 'embarrassed' by Supercars technical rules breach

Previous article

DJR Team Penske 'embarrassed' by Supercars technical rules breach

Next article

2019 Supercars Mustang development led to DJR Penske's huge fine

2019 Supercars Mustang development led to DJR Penske's huge fine
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Jamie Whincup , David Reynolds
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Plus

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

OPINION: Roger Penske's operation helped lift Dick Johnson's faltering Ford team back to the top of Australian tin-tops. But, despite The Captain's departure, along with star driver Scott McLaughlin, there's no reason to expect an imminent decline from DJR

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble Plus

Why Whincup's next move is no calculated gamble

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But the team's outgoing boss Roland Dane has full faith that he'll be up to the task

Supercars
Feb 5, 2021
The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020

In a year of few constants, the Australian Supercars championship could be relied upon for its usual blend of rough and tumble racing with a V8 soundtrack. But who were its top performers in 2020?

Supercars
Dec 27, 2020
The 'lifetime deal' that broke down in double quick time Plus

The 'lifetime deal' that broke down in double quick time

Last year, David Reynolds signed a decade-long deal with Erebus, seemingly pledging his long-term Supercars future to the team. One year on, "Decade Dave's" contract has been reduced to tatters, with an undercurrent of discontent having brewed in 2020

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
How Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Plus

How Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a divisive figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his dramatic boots as the category enters a new era

Supercars
Oct 30, 2020
Why McLaughlin is wrong to label 2020 his best title Plus

Why McLaughlin is wrong to label 2020 his best title

OPINION: Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why Supercars would settle for an anticlimactic title race Plus

Why Supercars would settle for an anticlimactic title race

It's a predicament that has faced the World Endurance Championship in the past, and now it's the turn of Supercars to have its biggest race - the Bathurst 1000 - taking the final slot on the calendar. Will its wider significance upstage the title battle?

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
The 10-year wait for a Supercars champion halted by coronavirus Plus

The 10-year wait for a Supercars champion halted by coronavirus

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver - but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad

Supercars
May 18, 2020