DAVID Reynolds could not have picked a better time or place to win his first race of the 2017 Supercars Championship.
The Erebus Motorsport driver and his co-driver Luke Youlden celebrated Bathurst 1000 success on Sunday after surviving a dramatic final hour of racing in wet conditions at Mount Panorama.
Reynolds came within tenths of a second of Bathurst success in 2012 when he couldn’t hunt down Jamie Whincup but five years later he was the one streaking away from the field for victory.
It was a first time success at Bathurst for both drivers and a long awaited triumph for Erebus team owner Betty Klimenko.
Reynolds watched several front runners come to grief around him within the final 30 laps as he stayed on course to lead out the final sprint to the line.
Scott Pye and Warren Luff finished second for Walkinshaw Racing while Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto recovered from a poor start to the day to take third for DJR Team Penske.
“It feels really, really good. As a team we’ve worked extremely hard over the last year and a half to get to this point,” Reynolds said.
“It’s been a whirlwind of experiences over that time with the team. I owe everything to them. It’s not just us two up there, there’s a whole team of 22 people behind us, which is probably one of the smallest teams in pit lane.
“Every since we rolled the car out it’s been fast. We didn’t have the best pace in the wet but as the track dried out it was feeling pretty good and there was plenty of grip out there.”
The chaotic ending to the race began when Rick Kelly ran into the sand trap at The Chase with 27 laps to go.
All the lead lap cars dived into pit lane under the safety car to top up on fuel and change to slick tyres. if they hadn’t done so already.
In the pit lane shuffle Van Gisbergen managed to come out just ahead of Mostert.
Mostert was all over the back of Van Gisbergen before he made an error at The Chase, gifting the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver some breathing room.
Moffat kept the safety car busy when he made heavy contact against the wall at Sulman Park with 20 laps remaining.
Van Gisbergen was set to lead the field out under green but was contacted by Garth Tander. Both cars tumbled back through the grid.
Nick Percat then briefly had control of the race before David Reynolds got by him.
Van Gisbergen fought his way back to third spot before running into the sand at The Chase to end his winning hopes.
The yellow flags went flying again went Simona De Silvestro lost control of her Nissan on pit straight, striking the wall and leaving her car stranded in the middle of the track.
The incident left the conclusion of the race as a six lap sprint to the chequered flag.
Reynolds was able to pull away from Pye and Coulthard to score the victory.
It was a memorable race for the Erebus garage as Dale Wood surged from 21st on the grid to finish fourth.
The retirement in the race from championship leader Scott McLaughlin has shaken up the standings.
Coulthard now leads the championship going into the Gold Coast and also leads the Enduro Cup.