The heat was on in Abu Dhabi..!

Karl Reindler

REVIEW: Karl Reindler Racing, Armor All Gold Coast 600
V8 Supercars Rnd#24/25/26 (November 2-4), Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

The V8 Supercar Championship Series returned to the Yas Marina circuit at Abu Dhabi for what is becoming a regular fixture on the annual calendar, but for 2012 there would be a host of changes and more for Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing's [FDSR] Karl Reindler who would start the event with a new chassis.

"After the Gold Coast start-line accident my international partner Franck Montagny suffered, the team didn't have time to effect repairs before loading the car up for Abu Dhabi," Karl explained. "So after working through the fleet of available cars, Kelly Racing elected to put me in the car Greg Murphy had been using. For me it would be a big weekend of getting to grips with the new chassis quickly, and also the new format, which being on the Formula One card again, meant shorter races, and limited practice."

Despite the challenges, Karl actually emerged as the quickest of the four Kelly Racing pilots in opening practice, hovering around the top two thirds of the field before an incident on track in session two prematurely ended practice for the West Australian.

"It's been a tough roll-out this weekend with little-to-no no practice time," he admitted. "Unfortunately we were cut short in the latter half of P2 with a five min penalty for hitting a bollard, so there was no chance to use new tyres.

"Essentially we went into qualifying blind, not knowing what to expect from the car and losing the rear tyres again. But we've tuned the car accordingly and think we have good direction. I'm sure we have the right balance and know what to expect tomorrow, so should be a good challenge starting from P23, P21 and P20 over the next few races."

The limited practice and short race format (3x 12-lap sprints) saw a new qualifying format where the fastest three laps from the session classified each drivers starting position for the three races, Karl holding station around the top 20 despite limited laps to come to terms with the new car and the longer 'Formula One' circuit than Supercars had contested previously.

After a strong start in race one Karl moved forward two positions to be battling with former team-mate Jason Bright and veteran Russell Ingall, but the lack of running on soft tyres prevented the #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore from moving forward any further after significant oversteer restricted Karl's ability to get traction out of the corners.

Unfortunately the team were unable to unlock any great secrets with the car's setup for race two, Karl holding position in P21 after an early battle with team-mate Greg Murphy and Falcon pilot Steven Johnson.

"One of the positives to take out of today's race was that our brakes were excellent and we had good speed on the straights, but it was difficult to pass because I was losing speed from oversteer coming through each turn.

"It was really difficult to look after the tyres but we'll make same more changes tonight and hopefully rectify what we are lacking."

Sunday morning dawned bright and warm again, with teams expecting a hot race. For FDSR's Karl Reindler though, things were about to heat up in a way that would bring back a host of bad memories.

A strong start saw the #11 Commodore battling with the mid pack and looking to move forward. Coming into turn 17 on lap two, Jonathon Webb made contact with the rear of Jason Bright's Commodore, spinning him into the path of the chasing pack. With nowhere to go, Karl made heavy impact with the side of Bright's car, after Dean Fiore who was closely following the FDSR Commodore left Karl with no option. The impact from the front was bad enough, but Fiore's hit in the rear ruptured the fuel tank, leaving Karl with scenes of his fiery startline crash at Barbagallo Raceway in 2011.

Unlike the West Australian crash which saw Karl receive significant burns to his hands, this time he was able to quickly extricate himself from the car, but his weekend was run.

"As soon as I heard the fire alert at the rear of the car I was out of there in a flash. It brought back some bad memories so I wasn't going to hang around. I was just lucky to get out unscathed.

"The first thing I thought of was last year and [to] just get the hell out of there as quick as I could," he told BigPond Sport.

"I think it was a PB (personal best) with myself actually, I didn't worry about any of the ancillary items, the cool suit, the radio, the water - I just got out and figured if I ran fast enough they'd all snap off which they did, and just took a few deep breaths."

For the Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Team it's back to their Melbourne base to repair Karl's primary car for the penultimate round of the championship at the team's test circuit, Winton Motor Raceway on November 16-18.

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2012 Abu Dhabi V8 Supercars - Qualifying [R1/R2/R3]
1. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
2. Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Commodore)
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (SBR Falcon)
4. Tim Slade (SBR Falcon)
5. Lee Holdsworth (SBR Falcon)
23. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore) [P23/P21/P20]

2012 Abu Dhabi V8 Supercars - Race 24
1. Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Commodore) - 12 laps
2. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (SBR Falcon)
4. Tim Slade (SBR Falcon)
5. Lee Holdsworth (SBR Falcon)
21. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore)

2012 Abu Dhabi V8 Supercars - Race 25
1. Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Commodore) - 12 laps
2. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (SBR Falcon)
4. Mark Winterbottom (FPR Falcon)
5. Garth Tander (HRT Commodore)
21. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore)

2012 Abu Dhabi V8 Supercars - Race 26
1. Jamie Whincup (Triple 8 Commodore) - 12 laps
2. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
3. Tim Slade (SBR Falcon)
4. Shane Van Gisbergen (SBR Falcon)
5. Mark Winterbottom (FPR Falcon)
DNF. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore) - 1 lap

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2012 V8 Supercar Championship
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) - 3360 points
2. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) - 3063
3. Craig Lowndes (Holden) - 2971
4. Will Davison (Ford) - 2779
5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Ford) - 2434
6. Tim Slade (Ford) - 2319
7. Garth Tander (Holden) - 2232
8. Lee Holdsworth (Holden) - 1913
9. David Reynolds (Ford) - 1875 10. Fabian Coulthard (Holden) - 1843

26. Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Holden) - 886
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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)

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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

For further information please contact Media Manager Damon Hill on 0411 669 910, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

www.karlreindler.com