Pye: Darwin Top 10 offers HSV Racing hope
Scott Pye believes Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s first top 10 finish since the Clipsal 500 season opener is a sign the squad is beginning to lift itself towards the front of the Supercars grid.
Pye provided the struggling Walkinshaw operation a much needed boost by ending Sunday’s 200km heat at Hidden Valley Raceway in eighth.
The result marked an upturn in fortunes for the Clayton outfit enduring one of its worst starts to a Supercars season.
Pye’s impressive drive from 16th to eighth was the team’s first top 10 since James Courtney’s third and fourth place finishes at Adelaide back in March.
Courtney, however, continued to struggle in Darwin after ending the weekend’s races in 22nd and 18th respectively.
Forced to undergo a restructure following the sacking of team principal Adrian Burgess in May, Pye is confident the new look organisation is beginning to solve its speed deficiencies.
The top 10 result arrived with the squad led by team strategist Rob Star, while interim team principal Mathew Nilsson was unavailable to attend the round.
“It was a much needed result for everyone,” Pye told Speedcafe.com.
“It was only eighth but it shows if we keep working hard we will move forward.
“We still don’t have the qualifying speed but it was great in the races to see both cars have some good speed.
“It is nice to go home with a little bit of positivity and head to Townsville with a bit more of an optimistic feeling again, which will be good.
“I think we are beginning to turn a corner but I don’t believe in lifting my head up until the work is done, so we have to keep pushing.
“It has been one of the toughest periods for the team but everyone has stuck together and pulling in the same direction and we need to keep doing that.”
The former factory Holden squad elected against a test day in the the four week break prior to Darwin, but Pye feels the work carried out at the workshop has yielded results.
However, he stresses the team still has plenty of ground to make up on its rivals particularly in qualifying trim.
“I think we have found a bit of direction through the weekend but we rolled in with a few new things we wanted to try,” Pye added.
“We have got a long way to go and we have got to keep pushing. The engineers have done a good job with what they have come up with.
“Both cars went in a different directions (at Darwin) but we still had the same fundamental issues.
“There is something there that we are not getting quite right, and not having a good qualifying speed doesn’t help. That is the most important thing we have got to work on.”