Pye: Results key to finding new home
Scott Pye admits that he must maximise his remaining opportunities at DJR Team Penske in order to avoid unemployment next season.
Pye, 26, was dealt a major blow late last month when the American owned squad signed current Volvo star Scott McLaughlin as his replacement for 2017.
The announcement followed months of speculation about the move, putting immense pressure on the South Australian-raised driver.
Pye, who is self managed, says he has begun the process of trying to secure a new seat, but stresses that scoring strong results is the most vital step.
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While there is much still to play out in the silly season, there remains a possibility that Pye may miss out on a drive completely if the cards don’t fall his way.
“As soon as I knew what was going on I put myself out there,” he said after finishing today’s practice in ninth.
“Really though the best thing I can do is try and get results on the track.
“We’ve got such a good team, such a good group of guys.
“I’m in the fortunate position where if I maximise what I’ve got hopefully I can get some good results.
“That’s what people will see and hopefully that’ll get me a job for next year because I don’t want to be unemployed.”
The team’s early decision came just a month after Pye was given the VIP treatment by Team Penske as part of a trip to the United States for the Indianapolis 500.
It followed a 2015 season where Pye stepped in to revive the then single-car squad’s fortunes after a false start with the returning Marcos Ambrose.
Pye, who had been sidelined at the start of 2015 in order to make way for Ambrose despite having a two-year contract, is no stranger to driving with his future on the line.
“Last year I was out of a drive and the year before that I was out of a drive,” he said.
“Last year until Bathurst I didn’t know what I was doing and then Monday (after the race) I found out (that the team would expand to two cars).
“I swear it felt like a month later my seat was in jeopardy again (with Penske showing interest in McLaughlin). That’s just always been going on.
“I don’t know if I’m happy that it’s come out early but it does mean I know what my fate is at the moment and I just need to do the best job I can while I’m in the car and have the opportunity.”
Pye’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard topped today’s practice at Queensland Raceway, lifting hopes of strong results for the team on its home circuit.
Both cars have shown flashes of speed during the season to date, but endured difficult runs across recent races at Darwin and Townsville.
“We’ve gone through a couple of bad rounds, so it’d be nice to bounce back here and get our championship back on track,” said Coulthard.
“We’ve lacked a bit of consistency throughout the year but have had good car speed at times.
“We just need to make that a regular occurrence, look for top fives on a regular basis and obviously the championship will get better as we progress.
“We’ve got a little bit to do, but we’ll try and tune it up overnight and try and make it better again.”