Preston Hire Racing have gained a substantial advantage heading into the Enduro Cup at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint for Round 9 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Endurance Co-Driver Karl Reindler stepped up for the New South Wales Round, and Team Owner Charlie Schwerkolt believes that the miles Reindler obtained this weekend will be extremely valuable.
Returned from injury, Driver Lee Holdsworth shared the pilot’s seat with Reindler, and took part in both of Friday’s Practice Sessions the first of which the pair finished in P24.
“Early on the car was reasonable and no issues or dramas, just finding our way around SMP. It was good to get Lee back in the car and get his read on it, we are on the same page in regards to setup but we pulled the session up a little bit shy due to the wet, the final results weren’t a real reflection of where we are,” Reindler said.
Holdsworth reached the top 10 on reasonably decent tyres at the beginning of the second practice session within four laps, but the pair finished in P23 with Reindler on greens.
Saturday’s final practice session saw Reindler drive solo to again finish P23.
“Making good progress with the car, obviously there’s a little to gain in myself getting comfortable in a better tyre and a couple of little mistakes cost me in some of the laps but that’s what practice is for,” Reindler said.
Engineer Jason Bush put a fuel pressure issue down as the cause for a rough start to Race 18 Qualifying, when the car wouldn’t start alone.
“Tough session, it didn’t go to plan at the start but recovered well, unfortunately we went the wrong way for the second run on greens,” Bush said.
Chassis #44 of the Next Gen Supercar debuted at the Sydney SuperSprint in Race 18 where Reindler finished in P22, but Schwerkolt believes the delayed pit stop cost the team a better result.
“Good solid job from Karl, he’s getting some valuable miles but we were hampered in the pit stop by no fault of our own again and should have finished a few spots better,” Schwerkolt said.
Race 19 was projected to last 51 laps, but a false start required a second formation lap and Reindler had a fantastic start and some tight battles to finish P23.
After the Race, it was discovered that the Number 18 Holden Commodore had a broken Roll Bar which hampered Race Pace.
“It was a tough race, the balance wasn’t quite what we had yesterday as we’ve been making a lot of changes with the main purpose of learning about the car, ” Reindler said.
“It’s good preparation for the Enduros and to do a 200km race with very little racing since last year I felt comfortable and pretty sharp.”
Preston Hire Racing will now prepare for the Pirtek Enduro Cup that spans over three Supercars Rounds; the Sandown 500, the Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 600 where Holdsworth and Reindler will co-drive.
The Sandown 500 will mark Round 10 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on September 16-18 where all races will be televised LIVE on FOX Sports.