Top 20 finish despite tough weekend at Sandown
REVIEW: Karl Reindler Racing, Dick Smith Sandown 500
V8 Supercars Rnd#20 (September 14-16), Sandown, Melbourne, VIC
"I was hoping this would be the start of a whole new angle for my post-event reviews, but sadly, despite a very solid test session at Winton a couple of weeks ago, we don't have too much good news to report," Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing's Karl Reindler reported after the opening endurance race of the season at Sandown.
"Right from opening practice we struggled to find pace. We weren't the only ones, all four Kelly Racing Commodore's failed to find good speed during practice, although Rick [Kelly] did manage to put in a couple of competitive laps. It was tight at the top too, with four tenths at one stage covering the top half of the field, which is why qualifying strongly is so important - even a tenth is worth valuable grid positions.
"Our biggest problem was the green tyres, we just couldn't find the pace on them that everyone else was getting. On old rubber we did an 11.4, on green tyres to be towards the pointy end of the field, but in qualifying on new rubber we could only manage a 10.8.. I felt really good after the Winton test, like we'd found some of the secrets to getting pace out of the car, but at Sandown it was the same lazy car it has always been - very frustrating..
"In fact if I look back at my notes over the last seven or eight events, I'm pretty sure they'd say exactly the same thing - no improvement on new tyres.
"Daniel did a good job despite the handicap, and gained a couple of spots in his qualifying race, and I held on to finish in roughly the same position ahead of the main race on Sunday.
"We had a long talk about what we wanted to do on Saturday night, and it was clear we needed to dramatically change the car, so the boys put in some serious time overnight, and the car was better during Sunday morning's practice.
"Off the back for the race it was clear we'd have a long day, as first Murph's [Greg Murphy] car was into the pits with an engine drama, and not long afterwards ours did a similar thing, although it didn't force us into the pits fortunately, but having it cut out on us wasn't ideal. We battled on though to pick up as many positions as we could.
"In the end we'd gained positions, but we just couldn't keep the tyres on the car. For the first 12-13 laps we were quick, in fact we were only half a second a lap off the pace of the leaders which was a big gain over Friday and Saturday, but we couldn't maintain that pace beyond 15-laps, which is hard when you're asking the car to do 45 plus laps on a set..
"We tried a few things during our stops - roll-bar and tyre pressure adjustments, but we made no big gains, so it will be another instance of taking the car back to the workshop to unlock a setup that works. Clearly the car has the pace, David Reynolds showed us that last year when he drove it, but we've moved a long way from his setup with the car, and I feel we need to head back in that direction because it clearly worked.
"Again, despite the result, we're learning more about the car, but it's frustrating as a driver to work so hard between races, both myself and the team, then have it amount to so little. It can be disheartening, but you move on, and with Sandown over and a straight car ahead of Bathurst in three weeks, we'll have the time to apply all that we've learnt and hope we get to the mountain with a rocketship setup. There's no reason we can't, and there's no reason why we won't be a top ten contender."
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 400 - Qualifying
1. Will Davison (FPR Falcon)
2. Garth Tander (HRT Commodore)
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (SBR Falcon)
4. Craig Lowndes (Triple 8 Commodore)
5. David Reynolds (RNR Falcon)
27. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore)
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 400 - Qualifying Race #1
1. Luke Youlden (#9 SBR Falcon) - 20 laps
2. Paul Dumbrell (#1 Triple 8 Commodore)
3. Dean Canto (#55 RNR Falcon)
4. John McIntyre (#6 FPR Falcon)
5. Warren Luff (#888 Triple 8 Commodore)
24. Daniel Gaunt (FDSR Commodore)
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 400 - Qualifying Race #2
1. Shane Van Gisbergen (#9 SBR Falcon) - 20 laps
2. David Reynolds (#55 RNR Falcon)
3. Garth Tander (#2 HRT Commodore)
4. Tim Slade (#47 SBR Falcon)
5. Michael Caruso (#34 GRM Commodore)
25. Karl Reindler (FDSR Commodore)
2012 Dick Smith Sandown 400 - Race 20
1. Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff (Triple 8 Commodore) - 161 laps
2. Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards (FPR Falcon)
3. Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell (Triple 8 Commodore)
4. Garth Tander/Nick Percat (HRT Commodore)
5. David Reynolds/Dean Canto (RNR Falcon)
20. Karl Reindler/Daniel Gaunt (FDSR Commodore)
2012 V8 Supercar Championship
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) - 2472 points
2. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) - 2440
3. Craig Lowndes (Holden) - 2353
4. Will Davison (Ford) - 2236
5. Shane Van Gisbergen (Ford) - 1882
6. Garth Tander (Holden) - 1764
7. Tim Slade (Ford) - 1662
8. Fabian Coulthard (Holden) - 1541
9. Lee Holdsworth (Holden) - 1449
10. David Reynolds (Ford) - 1404
24. Karl Reindler (Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Holden) - 734
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 - Eastern Creek, 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