Reynolds gives Holden fans a reason to smile
AFTER a week of high emotions following news of Holden's demise in Australia, David Reynolds has waved the flag for the iconic brand to top opening practice at the Adelaide 500.
The Erebus Motorsport star delivered Holden fans a spirited response to the announcement that has sent shockwaves through the sport as the Supercars season roared into action.
It was a positive day for the Red Lion as Red Bull Holden Racing Team ace Shane van Gisbergen finished second fastest behind Reynolds in the Supercars only session of the day on track.
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Ford driver Will Davison was third in his 23Red Racing Mustang as new Holden driver Chaz Mostert, in his first session for new team Walkinshaw Andretti United, and former Tickford Racing teammate Cameron Waters rounded out the top five.
Defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin was sixth ahead of his DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard, while Jamie Whincup was ninth.
Reynolds admitted it had been an emotional week for everyone associated with Holden.
"It was pretty disappointing news, I think it caught everyone by surprise," Reynolds said.
"If you trended the market share or whatever you want to call it over the last 10 years, you could see it was dwindling and the axe was probably coming.
"When it happens it's just shocking, it's been a sad week. But one door shuts, one door opens. We'll see what they come up with."
Reynolds, who was sixth in last year's championship, was hopeful off-season aero changes would help the field close the gap on McLaughlin's runaway Mustang.
He described his first session on track as "extremely wild" as he adjusted to the car's changes and low-grip in the opening session.
"I think the category has done a good job, they have spent a lot of time and money into making it even," Reynolds said.
"That's what we want to see, we want to see multiple winners, close hard racing, a lot of action and what we remember Supercars as."
Last year's series runner-up, Van Gisbergen said he remained lost for words about Holden's demise and had just been trying to focus on his job on the track.
"I've just been trying to concentrate on my driving, I don't really know the right words to say publicly about that stuff yet, it's a big deal," van Gisbergen said.
"I'm just trying to focus on my driving and get through the week as best we can."
Fastest at Supercars pre-season testing at Tailem Bend on Tuesday, Davison was happy to carry his pace to the street circuit at Adelaide.
"I'm happy to continue with Tuesday's pace, we had a pretty good test day Tuesday, but it's a completely different circuit here," Davison said.
"The car was different … we have certainly lost overall downforce. It was an interesting session but I was pretty comfortable in the car."
The opening practice session ended a couple of minutes early after a tangle between Garry Jacobson and Lee Holdsworth.
It was not a great start for James Courtney at his new squad Team Sydney after he was forced back to the pits early with a mechanical issue.
"It's not really the way we wanted to be in the first session, but it is what it is and we press on," Courtney said.
The drivers have two more practice sessions on Friday ahead of qualifying, the top-10 shootout and the 78-lap opening race on Saturday.