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Reynolds wins Australia’s highest-profile motorsport race

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BATHURST, Australia (AP) David Reynolds and his co-driver Luke Youlden won the most high-profile race in Australian motorsports on Sunday, finishing the Bathurst 1000 in his Holden in an unofficial time of 7 hours, 13 minutes in slick and rainy conditions on Mount Panorama.

Scott Pye, also driving a Holden, was four seconds behind in second, followed by Fabian Coulthard in a Ford.

After a succession of crashes and safety cars in the closing stages, it was Reynolds who had the inside running to win the 1,000-kilometer race over 161 laps of the 6.2-kilometer course at Bathurst, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Sydney.

“I’ve got nothing left to give,” Reynolds said. “I am absolutely spent. This bloke (co-driver Youlden) drove unbelievably all day. My crew was faultless. Man, it was just a perfect day.”

It was Youlden’s 18th Bathurst.

“It’s taken a long time, but tell you what – to do it with Dave and this team, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said.

Pole winner and series leader Scott McLaughlin, who drives a Ford for DJR Team Penske, part-owned by American motorsport great Roger Penske, retired with mechanical issues on the 74th lap. Coulthard also races for the Penske team.

“We really had a really good shot at it, in the wet as well,” McLaughlin said. “Unfortunately that is how it goes, it’s a tough old race to win – I just have to move on.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.