Annus Horribilis would be a good way to describe David Reynolds’ 2016 season.
Whilst not quite royalty, the Albury-born motorsport star has some significant achievements to his name, including two Australian Championships in Formula Ford and Porsche Carrera Cup and third place in the 2015 Supercars series.
Reynolds started slowly last year with huge changes in his Erebus Racing team taking a toll on their overall performance.
His pace started to pick up towards the end of the year, seeing him break the lap record at Bathurst, before holding off six-time Supercars champion, Jamie Whincup, to take third in the final race of the year.
“We finished last year with really good momentum, so I’m excited for what’s to come,” Reynolds said.
And what’s to come looks impressive, with Reynolds’ brand new 2017 Penrite Commodore revealed yesterday.
“The boys have built me a new car and it’s special because it’s a new chapter in our story,” Reynolds said.
“I’m really looking forward to our first test day next week, it’s the first time in my entire career that I’ve had a new chassis, so I’m looking forward to driving something new.”
He will give the car a “shakedown” on Monday to ensure everything is working as it should, before putting his foot down on Tuesday to test its limits and get a feel for what it can really do.
Reynolds will again team up with one of the leading engineers, Alistair McVean.
McVean’s input was a big factor in Reynolds’ good results towards the end of last year and he is delighted to have him on board again.
“With there being a new tyre this year, having Al will be a big advantage for us,” Reynolds said.
“He won’t over-engineer things too much - just keep it simple and hopefully we’ll find pace pretty quickly.
“It’s hard to tell what the tyres will be like, but I’m glad to have Al in our garage, he’s very smart and hopefully has a few tricks up his sleeve.”
Having a normal pre-season this year has given Reynolds confidence to set goals around his performance.
“I’d like to challenge for more poles and more podiums” he said.
“A successful year for us this year would be to finish in the top eight or nine in the Championship. It would be a big step forward.”
In a competition where half a second is the difference from being on pole or 15th on the grid, Reynolds knows that to be a top-10 finisher, he will need consistent pace from race one in Adelaide to race 27 in Newcastle in November.
“I’ve got a good feeling about this year. We finished strongly last year and that’s the way I want to start this year,” he said.