David Reynolds earned his first V8 Supercar victory with a composed drive in a wild second race at Surfers Paradise.
Reynolds, driving a Rod Nash Racing Falcon run in conjunction with Ford Performance Racing, hounded leader James Courtney throughout the final third of the race and inherited the lead when the Holden Racing Team driver retired with 16 laps to go.
Fabian Coulthard charged from 16th on the grid to finish second after fighting a rearguard action in the closing laps to fend off Russell Ingall, competing in his final race on the Gold Coast as a full-time driver.
Jamie Whincup chased that pair home in fourth to close Triple Eight team-mate Craig Lowndes’ championship advantage to just six points.
Reynolds led from pole early on and engaged in a race-long battle with Courtney, as the race’s main protagonists opted for different strategies when the safety car emerged to deal with Scott McLaughlin’s stricken Garry Rodgers Holden on lap 21.
Reynolds and Courtney pitted, handing over to their respective co-drivers Dean Canto and Greg Murphy, but Whincup’s driving partner Paul Dumbrell continued, as did Warren Luff in the No. 888 Commodore. Murphy passed Canto for the lead at mid-distance but just as he had opened up a five-second gap, the safety car emerged again.
Scott Pye, attempting to get out of the way of Lowndes, ran wide exiting the Turn 7/8 complex and clipped a tire barrier. That pushed him back across track in front of a helpless Shane van Gisbergen, who smashed hard into his rear.
Luff was then forced to wait behind Dumbrell in the Triple Eight pits and while Whincup took over and rejoined fifth, Lowndes had tumbled to 16th.
After the restart, Coulthard nipped past Ingall for third as Courtney and Reynolds took back the leading cars and quickly made their escape from a train of cars behind. But as the race reached its climax Courtney thumped the curbs at Turn 7 too hard and broke his car’s steering ” a mistake replicated shortly after by James Moffat, who had been running in the top six.
As Reynolds nursed his car to the flag, Coulthard, Ingall, Whincup and Lee Holdsworth squabbled over second but finished in that order. Rick Kelly and Garth Tander were also part of the lead train, just ahead of Lowndes. He was comfortably the fastest driver on the circuit as he attempted to progress through the field, and though he briefly found resistance when he reached Will Davison in 10th, he made the most of the late drama to salvage eighth.
Results - 102 laps:Pos Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Reynolds/Canto Rod Nash/FPR Ford 2h09m31.083s 2. Coulthard/Youlden Brad Jones Holden 1.1836s 3. Ingall/Briscoe Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +1.7929s 4. Dumbrell/Whincup Triple Eight Holden +2.4859s 5. Holdsworth/Baird Erebus Mercedes +2.9195s 6. Kelly/Reindler Nissan +3.4747s 7. Tander/Percat HRT Holden +3.7911s 8. Lowndes/Luff Triple Eight Holden +4.4168s 9. Davison/Owen FPR Ford +6.0882s10. Caruso/Gaunt Nissan +6.7249s11. Mostert/Wood Dick Johnson Ford +8.1263s12. Wall/Pither Britek/BJR Holden +25.543s13. Davison/McIntyre FPR Ford +25.853s14. Premat/Ritter Garry Rogers Holden +35.548s15. Blanchard/Walsh Dick Johnson Ford +43.591s16. Webb/Lieb Tekno Holden +44.741p17. Winterbottom/Richards FPR Ford +1m04.003s18. Fiore/Halliday Dumbrell Holden +1 lap19. Slade/Brabham Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +1 lap20. D'Alberto/Reid D'Alberto Holden +3 laps21. Engel/Johnson Erebus Mercedes +3 laps22. McLaughlin/Perkins Garry Rogers Holden +5 laps +10 lapsRetirements: Moffat/Douglas Nissan 88 laps Courtney/Murphy HRT Holden 86 laps Pye/Morris Dumbrell Holden 64 laps Van Gisbergen/Bleekemolen Tekno Holden 63 laps Kelly/Russell Nissan 27 laps