Albury’s David Reynolds has won the greatest motor race in Australia, the Bathurst 1000.
“This is hard to describe. This just means so much to me and the team. Wow, this is massive,” Reynolds said.
A fan favourite, Reynolds celebrated on the podium by drinking champagne from his racing boot to huge cheers from the crowd.
In an extraordinary race, Reynolds and teammate Luke Youlden drove superbly in atrocious conditions.
The rain came as the cars were on the grid for the start of the race and didn’t let up for the first 100 laps of the 161-lap event.
Reynolds sat second for much of the day, looking after the car so it would be strong at the end.
“There was so much happening out there, cars were going off regularly,” he said.
“I knew we had to play the long game and be smart because we had a fast car.
“You don’t often get to Bathurst with a car that is fast and has a real chance of winning.”
There were a number of late safety cars that kept bunching the field up, but no-one could touch the larrikin from Albury as he continued to dive away at each restart, eventually winning by four seconds from Scott Pye and doing the fastest lap of the day with four to go.
“It all just came together today – the team was great,” Reynolds said.
“They made all the right calls on strategy and gave me a good set up. I am so pleased for them, man they work hard, they deserve this.”
Starting from second on the grid, Reynolds was on the pace from the first lap and didn’t put a foot wrong as many others went off the track around him.
Reynolds pitted for slick tyres from fifth with 31 laps to go, kept his head down and drove his to a historic win.
Meanwhile, Brad Jones Racing had a day to forget.
Nick Percat and Macaulay Jones were third with four laps to go when Percat locked a brake at the chase.
He destroyed the tyre in the process and had to come in for a change, they failed to finish.
Team boss Brad Jones was bitterly disappointed.
“This place can just be so hard on you,” he said.
“We’ve had a tough week, but to be so close to being on the podium and then not see it happen really hurts.”
BJR’s Freightliner entry of Tim Slade and Andre Heimgartner struggled to be competitive all day but soldiered on to finish ninth.
The car didn’t have the same speed after an overnight rebuild from a huge crash on Thursday.