DJR Team Penske has performed a precautionary engine change on Scott Pye’s Ford after it struck power steering trouble in Race 18.
Pye was running fifth in the early stages of the 120km race when the car’s power steering pulley came adrift.
The failure meant the engine momentarily ran without oil pressure as Pye drove back to the garage.
Today’s drama continued a run of ill-fortune for Pye that included a heavy crash caused by a brake failure last time out at Queensland Raceway.
Pye is currently driving for his career after learning in late June that he’ll be replaced by Scott McLaughlin next season.
The South Australian was left dejected by the latest setback, which came after qualifying a fine fourth – eight places ahead of team-mate Fabian Coulthard.
“I really can’t take a trick at the moment but hopefully the luck will swing the other way soon,” said Pye.
“We had a really fast car today but ran into trouble when a power steering pulley came adrift.
“We had a great battle with Chaz (Mosert) early on and I felt the car was as fast as any of the guys I was racing.
“I was taking care of the tyres and the car was very fast.”
Coulthard meanwhile finished today’s race in his starting position of 12th after exploratory efforts with his car’s set-up failed to pay dividends in qualifying.
“We are doing a bit of pioneering with the car this weekend to really try and get things out of the car that Scott and I after,” he said.
“Of course that can come with a negative and not qualifying so well hurt us.
“We raced forward and passed quite a few cars at the end, but we are trying to make the car better every time we go out.
“We used a set up similar to Scott’s and he was very happy with his car probably more than I was, so we will look at the data hard tonight to get a direction.”