DAVE Reynolds’ quest to become the first person to win back-to-back Bathurst 1000 titles since 2007 and ‘08 came to a heartbreaking end near the conclusion of Sunday’s race.
After leading in the approach towards the final pit stop cramps struck Reynolds’ left leg.
His pain was compounded when, during his pit stop, he was black flagged for a wheel spin infringement.
He and co-driver Luke Youlden finished the race in 13th.
“I am so, so devastated. We had the fastest car all day,” Reynolds said.
“My leg was cramping big time. When [Craig] Lowndes passed me, I was 50 per cent throttle, I couldn’t tell whether I was on the brake or the throttle. I have never had anything like that before in anything I have ever driven. It was bizarre.
“Even the first 15 laps (of the last stint) I wasn’t mentally there. I was lost. My body gave up after that.
“I am just so disappointed for everyone involved. I just can’t believe it.”
The day ended in horrible fashion for Erebus Motorsport after their other entry, under the control of Anton de Pasquale, made heavy contact with the wall at Skyline.
Craig Lowndes overtook Reynolds with 26 laps to go and stayed in front until the finish.
“It’s such a shame for Dave because they were the benchmark all weekend,” Lowndes said.
“I wasn’t sure what happened but when we got the lead we weren’t going to give it up.”