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Reynolds explains last-lap shortcut

GOLD Coast race-winner David Reynolds says a straightline speed disparity between the Mustang and Camaro played a role in him taking a controversial last-lap shortcut.

Reynolds held off Brodie Kostecki to score his first Supercars victory in almost five years, giving the Blue Oval back-to-back triumphs following Cam Waters’ Saturday success.

The victories have followed changes to the aerodynamic package on the Mustang, which Waters and Reynolds both credited with helping them to their respective wins.

Both Ford stars had to hold back charging Camaros in the closing stages, with today’s Reynolds versus Kostecki battle effectively over after the former cut the first chicane.

It wasn’t the only time during the battle that Reynolds lost the rear of his Mustang on the entry to Turn 1 and opted to skip through the complex.

“They’ve got a bit more straightline speed, so they can tow up behind me and in the braking zone take our aero off us,” Reynolds explained of the final lap.

“As soon as I turned in, I just lost the rear. I did my best job to make the corner.

“That’s just this track. I didn’t have any bad sportsmanship flags or anything to worry about it, so I could have cut the kerbs and used that to my advantage.

“I did, thankfully. That’s all setup over the first 80 laps, where you’re trying to manage your car and manage the black flag and everything like that.

“I feel a little bit funny about it because I’d be annoyed on Brodie’s side if it happened like that, but it doesn’t bother me.”

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The last-lap shortcut triggered fury in the Erebus garage; a typically-animated Barry Ryan not holding back his frustration.

Although drivers can be penalised for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, regardless of the ‘kerb strike’ system, Reynolds’ move went unpunished. 

Asked about the situation in the post-race press conference, Ryan was rather more circumspect.

“It’s a difficult one,” he said.

“This track lends itself to having a bit of a lend of the rules if you want to.

“Obviously, Dave knew there was one lap to go and Brodie was going to pass him at the hairpin so he just drove straight.

“It’s what you can do with the rules. He had no warnings the whole race, so you can get away with it.

“Brodie could have used the same trick and he didn’t. That’s just the nature of this track.”

Reynolds, Kostecki and Waters on the podium. Pic: Ross Gibb

Kostecki shrugged off the last-lap battle, but noted his car had also lacked rear grip when Reynolds was directly behind.

The Camaro driver had briefly taken the lead on lap 72 of 85, only to slide wide at Turn 11 and had the place back two laps later.

“For the first time, I actually thought it was a disadvantage to be the lead car,” he said.

“Every time someone was close to your rear bumper it made the car really taily.

“I was able to use that on Dave and get his rears hot and when he was behind, close to me, it did the same thing to me.”

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