IMPRESSIVE PACE FROM PAYNE IN DRAMATIC SATURDAY SESSIONS
Payne showed impressive pace across his Saturday at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 with two qualifying sessions in the top ten where the young Kiwi qualified P5 and P8 respectively for races 5 and 6.
After a late change to slicks, Reynolds got caught out at T1 and ended the qualifying session in the gravel causing a red flag and losing his best timed lap qualifying P24.
Reynolds again had no luck in the second qualifying ending his session in the garage with a bent steering arm after colliding with Brown in the Turn 11 run-off. He would start the last race of the weekend in P25.
Race 5 began with sun shining on the lake-side circuit however a dramatic and flame-filled race ensued where Payne lost four places on the opening lap. Multiple incidents and a fire from Courtney’s Tickford entry caused a red flag with his car stopping in our pit bay, our crew together with Tickford, Erebus and fire marshals did a great job extinguishing the flames. Pit lane was closed due to the clean-up and the opening of the compulsory pit stop window was moved to lap 7.
Racing resumed on lap 6 and Payne was given a drive through penalty for contact with Macauley Jones.
Reynolds concluded the race in P14 and Payne in P21.
Matt Payne said:
“I had a really good morning this morning; got P5 and P8 which I was stoked with – feels good to have some solid top ten results. In the race there was a lot of chaos around the first couple of corners. Some laps later I got tangled in a crash with a couple of other guys which was partly my fault which wasn’t ideal. Probably just stuck my nose in when I should have waited, but that’s racing. We will regroup and go tomorrow starting from 8th which is still a good starting position.”
David Reynolds said:
“Today was a disappointing day again. I can’t believe the luck I am having out there. In qualifying I put it in the sand and lost my lap and had to start 24th and then the next session, Brown hit me and I didn’t get a lap in. It’s made the next two races very difficult – I can’t catch a break. In the race I started second last and somehow got to the place I did through a lot of shenanigans. All you’ve got to do is keep your nose clean and I can’t believe I got to 14th in 13 laps.
“It’s been a tough weekend but the team are working hard, and we are looking ahead to tomorrow and what we can achieve.”
The final race of the weekend will commence at 10:25am local time on Sunday.