Impressive debut for Super3, Bathurst rookie McCarthy
Dunlop Super3 Series rookie Reef McCarthy turned heads at the opening round held at the Repco Mount Panorama 500 on the weekend.
The event was not only round one of the series but also McCarthy’s first time racing a Supercar – and his first-time on the Mt Panorama circuit.
McCarthy set tongues wagging in the paddock after he delivered the second quickest time in Friday practice – behind category veteran Jon McCorkindale – with a 2m13.14s best providing the young gun with confidence heading into qualifying.
McCarthy continued to improve his times throughout the weekend, qualifying third for Saturdays race.
Unfortunately, a slow start saw the rookie slip from third to the rear of the field before fighting back. McCarthy finished fifth after executing some good passes, including an impressive two-abreast pass through Skyline, before taking crossing the finish line.
Sunday saw McCarthy further improve his time to qualify on the front row, breaking the 2m10s barrier for the first time.
Unlike race one, McCarthy nailed the start and finished the race in fourth position after he running wide through The Chase.
As a consolation, he set the third fasted lap time during the race, confirming his ability to put in impressive times.
Image Racing team principle, Terry Wyhoon, was impressed with Reef’s performance over the weekend.
“Two words come to mind after the weekend: Surprise package,” Wyhoon explained.
“We went to the mountain expecting the weekend to be a learning experience for Reef and my instructions were that we wanted him to finish every race, but what we got was next level.
“Having come from an entry level development class Reef has shown that he can drive, and I believe he has the ability to do very well.
“What I saw on the weekend was very impressive, Reef has good race craft and demonstrated he can translate this into passing opportunities but there are also a few things we will be working on to improve.
“What we have is a very strong foundation to work off and I am really looking forward to working with Reef and the team in the lead up to the next event and over the rest of the season.”
Round 2 of the Dunlop Super3 Series will be held at Winton Motor Raceway on 29-30 May.