Preston Hire Racing have been left devastated at the Bathurst 1000, with Lee Holdsworth and Karl Reindler being forced to not take part in more than two laps of the iconic race.
Round 11 of the 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is one that Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt hopes he never has a repeat of again. “The most devastating Bathurst I’ve been involved in for a long time, the broken rocker was something out of our control, we have a great engine builder with KRE and this was just a freak little failure,” Schwerkolt said.
Reindler and Holdsworth showed promise for the great race throughout the round while battling a balance issue, with Lee finishing P20, P18, P15 and P15 in Practice sessions, and Karl finishing P17 and P10 in his Co-Driver sessions.“Our pace was great, Karl has been a great co-driver and he has been really fast, very consistent and keeps it out of trouble and I just couldn’t ask anything more of anyone,” Holdsworth said.
Holdsworth qualified in P15, and Reindler clocked a quick time in Sunday’s warm-up to conclude the session in P10.
Race 21 saw the demise of Team 18, when a rocker broke in the engine and bent a valve following a strong start.
After pulling into the garage on the second lap, the team made the decision to not take part in the remaining 159 laps. “To have an engine fail 999.99km from the end of the race is devastating, to not even get to the first corner without a problem, well you just don’t expect a reliability problem so early,” Holdsworth said.
“I was really proud of the team, no one could have done a better job and it was out of our control and our persistence will pay off eventually.”
“Something must be coming our way soon so we will give it our best at the Gold Coast 600 and try and come home with a win.”
Co-Driver Karl Reindler missed his chance to get behind the wheel in the 2016 Bathurst Race, but is even more determined to race at the Gold Coast 600.
“I couldn’t believe it, we had 6 Practice sessions, a Qualifying session and Warm Up session and of all the times and places, for it to happen on the start line of the biggest race of the year; gut wrenching is an understatement,” Reindler said.
“So much goes into this race, everyone has been bending over backwards and everyone has a role in the team and for this to happen I feel for everyone single one of them, so from here we have to look forward to hopefully having a good crack at the Gold Coast.”
Schwerkolt wanted to thank all those involved with the team and values their support over the weekend. “Lee and I were keen to bounce back at Bathurst after a terrible run at Darwin and this was the one that got away, I feel for all the team members involved, sponsors, fans and friends and I’d like to thank everyone for their support and we will come back at Gold Coast 600 trying to bring home the Surfboard trophy,” Schwerkolt said.
Preston Hire Racing will now head back to their Melbourne Garage to assess what went wrong and ensure preventative measures are underway before heading to the Gold Coast 600 on October 21-23.