“I can’t bring myself to watch myself on TV… I can watch the race if I’m in the car, but as soon as I’m on TV… I hate my voice, I don’t tend to replay interviews.”
When Erebus Motorsport’s doors officially open for a groundbreaking docuseries, star driver David Reynolds could be watching from behind the lounge, or perhaps, not at all.
Still, Reynolds’ key role in helping take the team – which runs under the Penrite Racing banner – to the front of the Supercars grid will be given more light once Inside Line – A Season with Erebus Motorsport premieres on Fox Sports on Tuesday night.
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Reynolds and his Holden squad were filmed across the 2019 season, when the fan favourite toiled through a winless season en route to sixth in the standings.
The raging success of the Netflix-distributed Drive to Survive series has helped put Formula 1 on the map as drivers and teams helped portray the drama of motorsport at the highest level. Amazon’s The Test also went places within the Australian men’ s cricket team where few have gone before.
What the Erebus squad proves in Inside Line is how cut-throat Supercars can be, and how important Reynolds – who is into his fifth season with the Melbourne-based team – has been in its upwards trajectory on Supercars results sheets.
The 34-year-old admitted he is “a little bit nervous” to see how the series is perceived by fans, because the eight-part series is an “honest portrayal of our team”.
The team has grown under the watch of Reynolds, who moved to the fledgling squad after he was dropped by Tickford Racing at the end of 2015 despite finishing third in the championship.
Critically, what makes Inside Line important for Reynolds is it demonstrates Erebus as the team it is today, one he helped reach the very top, as well as his development as a driver and a person.
“What made me step up [at Erebus], was that for once, I was the lead driver [at a team],” he told media on Tuesday.
“To have that position in the team makes you take more pride in your job, day in, day out. That’s what’s changed for me, and I think I’ve done a good job so far and I hope I continue to do a good job.
“When I joined that team, results weren’t expected, we struggled to get to every race at the start… in a very short space of time, I saw everyone grow within themselves and become more like adults within the sport.
“We all took steps together to get to the front of the grid.”
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Reynolds took one podium – in the final race of the season – in his first year with Erebus in 2016 as he finished 16th in the standings.
In 2017, the team continued to make gains, as did Reynolds – and it bore fruit in the most stunning fashion as Reynolds and Luke Youlden combined for a memorable Bathurst 1000 victory.
From there, Reynolds has finished no lower than seventh in the standings, and has established himself – and the team – as genuine frontrunners. He is committed to the cause, signing an historic 10-year contract extension with Erebus last year.
Getting the team to that point remains Reynolds’ career highlight: “The best thing I’ve done in this sport is not win races, but watch a team grow within itself to become the team they are today. It’s not so much the results I’ve had, it’s the journey I’ve had with everyone.
“Normally when you go up to a big team, you’re expected to win. Ours was different, we weren’t expected to win at the start, and now we’ve evolved into becoming one of the bigger teams, and now we’re expected to do a lot better.
“The pressure grew organically within the team itself.”
Still, despite winning races and being competitive for Tickford was a positive, Reynolds now says he’s “much happier in the car, and I’m much happier out the car” as an Erebus driver.
Inside Line shows Reynolds, depicted by fans and media as Supercars’ class clown, as a leader in many respects, while team owner Betty Klimenko, CEO Barry Ryan and driver Anton De Pasquale also feature among the team’s topsy turvy storyline.
However, Inside Line also highlights a different side to Reynolds, one where he lacks self-belief and puts his results purely down to the team, as stated by Ryan: “For some reason he just doesn’t think he’s as good as he is. If he goes really good and wins races he thinks it’s the car or the team.”
Klimenko is also keen for Inside Line to show the lighter side of the team, which has been on a journey since its 2013 debut in the sport – and has only grown with Reynolds in the driving seat, even if he was daunted by the move at first.
“It was a strange time in my life at the end of ’15, I was winning races with the biggest Ford team in pit lane at the time,” Reynolds said.
“Then to be left at the end of the year without a drive then to join Erebus, it was one of my last options I had on the table. I was half-regretting it at the start… we struggled to get to every race, the people they’d employed were new to Supercars.
“[Barry] has had a massive job in trying to lead everyone and trying get the most out of everyone and put all the plans in place so they can become better mechanics, engineers and what not.
“I take as little credit as I can in the evolution of Erebus, but the driver takes all the glory on the day which is silly, every win or podium I wish I could take the whole team up there.”
The eight-part docuseries is available only on Foxtel (channel 506) and to stream on Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now and Foxtel GO.