Eighth fastest but no joy for Reindler at Bathurst
Eighth fastest but no joy for Reindler at Bathurst
REVIEW: Karl Reindler Racing, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
V8 Supercars Rnd#21 (October 4-7), Bathurst, NSW
"By Sunday afternoon we had a car capable of making the top 12, and maybe even make it inside the top 12, but the way things played out in the pits, we never really had a chance," Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing's Karl Reindler lamented after the 50th running of the Bathurst 1000 classic.
"It didn't help that our weekend really started on Sunday morning, but that's been a recurring theme almost all year. The car looked fantastic with its retro livery, but it was diabolical to drive right from the outset."
Karl wasn't the only member of the Kelly Racing team feeling the pain, as team-mate and 2011 pole-sitter Greg Murphy explained to the Age newspaper.
"It is the scariest car I've had at Bathurst by some margin," Murphy explained to journalist Mark Fogarty. ''We don't have the equipment to do the job,'' he said. ''Even knowing the equipment hasn't been good enough to do the job all year, I was still confident coming here we'd be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
''We did it last year, but I can't find the rabbit's ears. They're missing. I don't know what's going on - I really don't understand it. It's incredibly disappointing. It's that bad, it hurts.''
"Honestly, Murph was only saying what I was thinking," Karl added. "It was very frustrating, especially when we knew that this car qualified well inside the top ten last year, and ran with the leaders.
"By Thursday night I was requesting changes to the car, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears until Sunday morning, but by then we'd lost two full days..
"It wasn't all bad, because we recovered some ground during the warmup where I was able to do a 10.4 with a full fuel load, but by that stage we were starting 28th. Murph is a wizard at Bathurst, and always finds some magic, but even he couldn't make his car car work, and he was only four tenths quicker than me.
"In the race the car was good, but we lost any ground we made during a stint in the pits because we were sharing a bay with Murph and Owen Kelly, and they had track position on us. I counted four times where we had to 'stack' in pit lane and wait till they'd been serviced before we could get in, and I would just sit there and watch all the cars I'd worked my way past on track, pass me again whilst I was waiting for my stop in the pits. It was terribly frustrating. I've never worked so hard in a car for so little return."
Co-driver Daniel Gaunt showed good pace during his stints in the car, but he also reflected Karl's comments.. "We made gains in our setup in today's race which was good.
We got caught up a couple of times queuing in the pits, it was weird standing there watching our car wait in the pits."
Whilst clearly frustrated not to have the pace, a hallmark of the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing crew is their tenacity, and they just never gave up all weekend.
"I'm so proud of my guys," Karl added, "..they just kept at it and never gave up. Every stop we'd tune the car, and every stint it would get better. I feel sorry for Dan [Gaunt] because he'd get the worst of the tyres during his later stints, but it paid off in the end, we were well inside the top eight on outright pace, and less than four tenths off the fastest lap of the race. In the end my best lap was only a tenth slower than the race winners, but it came on lap 140 when I was over a minute behind..
"At one stage I caught Owen Kelly at over a second a lap, and called in on the radio for the team to ask him to move over, because we were over a second a lap faster and I was motoring, but they weren't listening.. by the 100-lap mark I was comfortably inside the top ten, but again we had to stack, so the signs were there, but the strategy wasn't.
"Why they didn't put us on a similar strategy to team owners Todd and Rick Kelly, who split their stops early in the piece I'll never know, because it seriously cost us track position in the end.
"To have the eighth fastest car in the field (by that stage he was the fifth fastest car on the circuit) with 20 laps to go and a 60 second deficit to the leaders is never going to play out in your favour, so all I could do was just pump out the laps.
"That's five Bathurst 1000s I've contested now and finished every one of them, but that was my worst finish.. it shows you how close the field is, and how little things can make a huge difference. In 1979 Peter Brock won by six laps. I finished just over a minute behind Jamie Whincup - after getting caught behind team-boss Todd Kelly in the closing laps - and I was 19th.. it's a tough game."
For the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing team, it's back to their Melbourne base to prepare for the Gold Coast 600 in two weeks time where Karl will be joined for the first time by former F1 (Super Aguri) and Sportscar pilot Franck Montagny.
"Franck is a very experienced driver on a world scale, but he'll be making his V8 Supercar debut at the Gold Coast," Karl confirmed. "To be honest, I don't know what to expect, from either the car or Franck. Some of the world class drivers have done very well in their debuts on what is one of the toughest tracks we race on, so it will be interesting, but it's always a great event, so I'm looking forward to it.
"It would be nice if it rained though, because one thing I'd say about these Kelly Racing cars, is that they really come alive in the wet..!"
2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - Qualifying
1. Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Commodore)
2. Fabian Coulthard (BJR Commodore)
3. Mark Winterbottom (FPR Falcon)
4. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
5. Craig Lowndes (Triple 8 Commodore)
28. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore)
2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - Race 21
1. Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell (Triple 8 Commodore) - 161 laps
2. David Reynolds/Dean Canto (RNR Falcon)
3. Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff (Triple 8 Commodore)
4. James Courtney/Cameron McConville (HRT Commodore)
5. Michael Caruso/Greg Ritter (GRM Commodore)
19. Karl Reindler/Daniel Gaunt (FDSR Commodore)
2012 V8 Supercar Championship
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) - 2772 points
2. Craig Lowndes (Holden) - 2611
3. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) - 2584
4. Will Davison (Ford) - 2302
5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Ford) - 2020
6. Tim Slade (Ford) - 1854
7. Garth Tander (Holden) - 1824
8. David Reynolds (Ford) - 1680
9. Lee Holdsworth (Holden) - 1629
10. Fabian Coulthard (Holden) - 1613
24. Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Holden) - 830
2012 V8 Supercar Championship Series Calendar
Event 01 - Clipsal 500, Adelaide (March 1-4)
Non-champ. - Australian F1 Grand Prix (March 15-18)
Event 02 - Tasmania Challenge (March 30-April 1)
Event 03 - ITM 400, Hamilton, NZ (April 20-22)
Event 04 - Trading Post Perth Challenge (May 4-6)
Event 05 - Phillip Island, VIC (May 18-20)
Event 06 - Skycity Triple Crown, Darwin (June 15-17)
Event 07 - Sucrogen Townsville 400 (July 6-8)
Event 08 - Coates Hire Ipswich 300 (August 3-5)
Event 09 - Sydney Motorsport Park 360, NSW (August 24-26)
Event 10 - Dick Smith Sandown 500 (September 14-16)
Event 11 - Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, NSW (October 4-7)
Event 12 - Armor All Gold Coast 600 (October 19-21)
Event 13 - Yas Marina V8 400 (November 2-4)
Event 14 - Winton Motor Raceway, VIC (November 16-18)
Event 15 - Sydney Telstra 500 (November 30-December 2)
Karl Reindler is proudly supported by Kelly Racing, Fair Dinkum Sheds, Wilson Security, AstronTech, EMT, Thomson Aviation, Resource Tyre Company, Nash Bros. Civil and Mining Rental, Glass Assist, Herbalife, Manheim, Fitness First, Focus Bikes, Zise and Sponsorxchange.com