Scott Pye is firmly focussed on scoring his first career V8 Supercars race win tomorrow after taking an impressive pole position in the opening qualifying session of the season.
A year after sitting on the sidelines while Marcos Ambrose steered DJR Team Penske’s single entry, Pye continued his remarkable career recovery with a maiden Armor All Pole Award.
The result also marked the first for DJR Team Penske in its current guise and the first for DJR since Ipswich, 2013.
“Last year was obviously a big letdown, sitting on the sidelines and doing garage tours and things like that,” reflected the now Brisbane based South Australian of the 2015 Clipsal 500.
“This time last year I didn’t expect to get these results and even going into this weekend we figured this might be a weak track for us.
“To roll out with the car so competitive is promising for the future. The guys have worked so hard in the off-season going from one car to two.
“Getting out of the car when we got the pole was awesome. The crowd cheer for their home boy I guess.
“I’m very proud to come back here. I came to this race as a kid so to line up on the front-row tomorrow is going to be a cool feeling.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can get off the line and get out in front in clean air.
“We’ve got the best starting position (to win) so we’ll see what we can do.”
While much attention has been placed on the progression of the team under the control of Roger Penske, Pye emphasised his delight at scoring pole for now minority owner Dick Johnson.
Running Johnson’s famous #17, Pye’s pole has also come at one of the selected events where his car is sporting the colours of long-time DJR backer Shell Helix.
“For me it’s very special,” said Pye of the association with Johnson.
“I saw a photo the other day of myself and my dad in 1994 cleaning my go-kart in our garage and you could see a sticker we had of the old Shell Helix #17 Falcon with Johnson on the side.
“To see my name on the #17 and with the Shell Helix is special and getting the pole today, I couldn’t describe the feeling.
“For Dick, it’s been a long time since he had a car on the pole and hopefully we can get him a win tomorrow.
“His smile was ear-to-ear when I got out of the car. He was one of the first that came up to me and he’s really proud of sticking it out.
“It’s been a tough time for him, he’s had a rough time over the years, but he’s a battler through and through and there’s a lot we can all learn from him with how hard he’s worked to stay in the game.
“If I can get a win for him tomorrow I’m sure it’s going to be a very special moment. It’s something I’m looking forward to sharing with him.”