Reindler's French Connection..
PREVIEW: Karl Reindler Racing, Armor All Gold Coast 600
V8 Supercars Rnd#22/23 (October 19-21), Gold Coast, QLD
After a tough start to his fifth Bathurst 1000 campaign, Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing's Karl Reindler finished strongly, setting the sixth fastest time in the closing stages in a car the team had worked tirelessly to improve across the weekend.
"It was awesome in the end," he reflected, "but we started behind the eight ball because it took us until Sunday morning to unlock a quick setup.
"That's the key, and something I hope we can improve on this weekend on the Gold Coast - if we can start strongly, I know we'll be in for a strong result. Most Sundays we have the pace, we're just too far back to threaten the leaders.
"I am looking forward to the Gold Coast though, it's a great weekend away - from the weather to the people and the chance to hang out with some of the international stars - all the drivers look forward to this one."
For 2012 Karl will be paired with former French Formula One and Sports Car star, Franck Montagny after two years paired with Italian Touring Car star Fabrizio Giovanardi. It will be Montagny's first event in a V8 Supercar, but Karl expects he'll pick it up pretty quickly.
"It has been a bigger challenge in the past for the international drivers than I think many of them expected. I didn't know a lot about Franck apart from what I'd seen and read about, but he's been in F1 so he's clearly no slouch. On Wednesday he gets the chance to test at Queensland Raceway, so he won't be forced to kick off on the streets of the Gold Coast completely green.
"Priority number one for us though is to get him comfortable in the car and up to speed as quickly as possible, and then work to fine tune the setup. Again, we need to hit our straps early.
"Last year the BJR car was very uncomfortable on the kerbs, but I think the Kelly Racing cars are more compliant, they ran strongly there last year. The street circuits really throw a few anomalies at you like the crown in the road and off-camber corner entries, so you have to be pretty sharp on setup.
"I've already had dinner out with Franck and explained to him a little about driving the cars. He's obviously keen to do a good job, but he hasn't turned a lot of miles this year after an early DNF at Le Mans driving with the OAK Racing LMP1 team. He's excited though, which is a common theme amongst the international drivers.. they're all keen to see what it's like driving a V8 Supercar. Now, he'll get the chance..
"At this stage there's a possibility of a few showers across the weekend, but with expected temperatures in the high 20s, it's also likely to be pretty warm and humid, so fitness will play a part, something which will hopefully work in my favour."
Who is Franck Montagny?
DOB: 5 January, 1978 (34)
1994 - Formula Renault Campus Champion
1996 - Formula Renault France [4th]
1996 - Formula Renault France [6th]
1997 - French Formula 3 [4th]
1998 - French Formula 3 [2nd]
1998 - Le Mans 24-Hours [5th]
1999 - International Formula 3000
2000 - International Formula 3000
2001 - Open Telefonica by Nissan Champion
2002 - World Series by Nissan (2nd)
2002 - Le Mans 24-Hours [6th]
2003 - World Series by Nissan Champion
2004 - Renault Formula 1 (test driver)
2005 - Renault/Jordan Formula 1 (test driver)
2005 - Le Mans 24-Hours [4th]
2006 - Super Aguri Formula 1 [27th]
2006 - Le Mans 24-Hours [2nd]
2007 - Toyota Formula 1 (test driver)
2008 - A1GP Team France [4th]
2008 - Le Mans 24-Hours [3rd]
2009 - Indycar World Series [Andretti Green Racing]
2009 - Le Mans 24-Hours [2nd]
2011 - American Le Mans Series (Peugeot)