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Pye fights pain to top opening GC practice

Friday 23rd October, 2015 - 11:21am

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Scott Pye behind the wheel of the #17 Ford

Scott Pye behind the wheel of the #17 Ford

Scott Pye set the pace in opening practice for the Castrol Gold Coast 600 despite feeling “pretty tender” as he tested out his fractured rib on the punishing street circuit.

Pye ran the bulk of the session in the DJR Team Penske Ford, setting a best of 1:11.7s on the soft tyre before handing over to co-driver Marcos Ambrose.

Steven Johnson has been placed on standby for Pye this weekend as the South Australian battles the rib injury he sustained at Bathurst a fortnight ago.

“The car is pretty good which makes my job a lot easier, but just that back chicane the car bottoms out and knocks the wind out of me pretty quickly,” he said.

“I want to drive more than ever, we’ve finally got the car to a position where we’re comfortable and I’m not handing it over without a fight. It’s a matter of just pressing on.

Whincup's spin at the exit of the first chicane

Whincup’s spin at the exit of the first chicane

“I’ll take some good doses and keep pushing. Sometimes it’s just about how bad you want something and I want it pretty bad.”

Lee Holdsworth, Tim Slade and Nick Percat all ran late laps on the softs to fill second through fourth, while Jamie Whincup was fifth despite an early end to his session.

The Red Bull driver tagged the wall at the exit of the first chicane, spinning his Holden down the road and damaging a suspension arm.

“This place is all about attacking the chicane and I gave it a little bit too much and just clipped the rear on the wall,” he admitted.

“Generally these things are pretty bullet proof but it’s bent one of the arms on the rear. We’ll replace that and PD (Paul Dumbrell) will be back out for the next session.”

James Courtney completed the entire session at the wheel of the #22 HRT Commodore and later reported no immediate problems with his own injuries.

“I think maybe later on it might flare up a bit but at the moment it’s perfect,” he said.

“To be honest before I got in I got a bit quiet and thought ‘geez, I hope everything stays where it should be’.

“But once I got out there and got into it your brain switches back and you’re thinking about the car.

“It wasn’t until the end of the session where I started to think about what I felt like.”

Tim Blanchard failed to turn a flying lap in the session as the team worked on issues with its back-up chassis, which has been pressed into action following the driver’s Bathurst crash.

Three more 30 minute V8 Supercars practice sessions remain for the day, with the next two to be run for the co-drivers only.

Result: V8 Supercars Practice 1, Surfers Paradise  

1 DJR Team Penske S.Pye/M.Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 1:11.7073
2 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:11.7472 00.0399
3 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:11.8619 00.1546
4 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:12.0037 00.2964
5 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:12.0332 00.3259
6 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 1:12.0605 00.3532
7 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.5491 00.8418
8 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 1:12.5666 00.8593
9 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:12.5735 00.8662
10 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 1:12.6281 00.9208
11 Pepsi Max Crew Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.6500 00.9427
12 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.6906 00.9833
13 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:12.8486 01.1413
14 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 1:12.9019 01.1946
15 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:12.9360 01.2287
16 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:12.9465 01.2392
17 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:13.0588 01.3515
18 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 1:13.1254 01.4181
19 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 1:13.2737 01.5664
20 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 1:13.3486 01.6413
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:13.3665 01.6592
22 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:13.4072 01.6999
23 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:13.5179 01.8106
24 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 1:13.5998 01.8925
25 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard

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