REYNOLDS BENCHED PENDING SECOND COVID VACCINATION

David Reynolds will miss the remaining three Sydney Motorsport Park Supercars rounds. Pic: Supplied

DAVID Reynolds will miss the remaining three Sydney Motorsport Park rounds of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

The Kelly Grove Racing driver has been benched by the team as he has yet to satisfy the NSW Health requirement that all drivers, mechanics, workers or spectators at Supercars rounds in that state must be either fully vaccinated with accepted COVID-19 vaccines or hold a valid exemption from vaccination on medical grounds.

Reynolds’ Repco Bathurst 1000 co-driver Luke Youlden will substitute aboard the #26 Penrite Ford Mustang at this weekend’s ARMOR ALL Sydney SuperNight, but Kelly Grove Racing has yet to name a replacement for the other two rounds at SMP.

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Reports surfaced earlier this week that a Supercars driver, who entered New South Wales under a vaccination exemption, was under investigation from NSW Health officers.

Both Kelly Grove Racing and Supercars have now confirmed that Reynolds drove in last weekend’s round at Sydney Motorsport Park under a vaccination exemption.

NSW health authorities have since determined that Reynolds is not exempt from getting the vaccine.

Although Reynolds has now received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, he will be unable to take part in any Supercars races until he has his second dose which will potentially happen in time for the Repco Bathurst 1000.

“I’m shattered to be missing the next three Supercars events, but I understand and respect the health guidelines,” Reynolds said.

“I want to thank Kelly Grove Racing and all of our fans and sponsors for their support, and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel at Bathurst.”

Reynolds could return to the cockpit in time for the Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Supplied

Supercars has affirmed that Reynolds was “in compliance with temporary protocols” at the time.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Supercars has staged all of its events in accordance with applicable State and Territory Government health requirements,” joint statement from Supercars and KGR read.

“This remains the case and will not change.

“In accordance with NSW Health Orders, in order to attend and compete at last weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight and the next three rounds of the Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, all Supercars attendees and drivers must either be fully vaccinated with accepted COVID-19 vaccines or be exempt from vaccination.

“It is on this basis that the venue has an exemption to host up to 10,000 people per day.

“In the last week, NSW health authorities, working closely with Supercars, Kelly Grove Racing and David Reynolds have carefully considered a vaccination exemption presented by David and have concluded that David is not exempt from receiving the vaccine.

“With NSW health authorities having reached this conclusion, David has had his first vaccine shot administered and has scheduled his second vaccine shot.

“While waiting for his second vaccine shot, however, David is not able to compete at the three upcoming Sydney Motorsport Park rounds of the 2021 Supercars Championship.

“Once fully vaccinated, as scheduled, David could be eligible to drive in the Repco Bathurst 1000.

“David says that he is bitterly disappointed to be missing the next three races at Sydney Motorsport Park, but respects the decision and is happy to continue to comply with health orders.

“Supercars can confirm that David’s attendance at last weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight was in compliance with temporary protocols and conditions to protect he and other participants while the matter was resolved.”

Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.