Pye: Walkinshaw Andretti United can emulate DJRTP
Scott Pye expects Walkinshaw Racing’s new partnership with Andretti Autosport and United Autosports to help the team emulate the recent rise of DJR Team Penske.
The Clayton operation will be rebranded Walkinshaw Andretti United from next year following confirmation of a buy-in by the famous IndyCar outfit and McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown through United Autosports.
The arrangement, announced in Bathurst on Thursday, will see Andretti and Walkinshaw hold an equal partnership while Brown, who brokered the deal, will become a minority shareholder.
Andretti Autosport’s involvement in Supercars follows that of fellow American giant Penske, who took over the struggling Dick Johnson Racing in late 2014.
Pye, who witnessed the influence of Penske at DJR before leaving the team last year, is excited by the potential Andretti Autosport will provide Walkinshaw as it looks to rebuild after several seasons in the doldrums.
“I think the potential of what they can bring to the table is immense and we have seen a similar case with DJR Team Penske and the way they have stepped forward,” Pye told Speedcafe.com.
“We will be doing the same I’m sure. We have high expectations and the Andretti name and United Autosports is a great combination.
“Second isn’t enough and we are always going to be pushing the boundaries into the future now and we will have the resources to do that.
“It is exciting. Moving forward there is never a silver bullet and I wish everyone in the category wishes there was an easy fix to problems.
“It is all in hard work. We are going to have some great resources and that should move the program forward at a rapid rate and get us back to where the team deserves to be.”
Pye signed a multi-year contract with Walkinshaw Racing after losing his drive at DJR Team Penske last season.
His first campaign at the former Holden factory team has arrived during a desperately difficult season that has seen the outfit languishing in sixth in the standings.
The operation has also undergone a mid-season restructure following the departure of team principal Adrian Burgess.
The South Australian believes the new partnership will give the squad a much needed and timely boost ahead of this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
“It is great timing for it and to have Andretti in town for the greatest race of the year is cool,” added Pye.
“It is a bunch of people that I have been proud of this year and I’ve only got to know them this year.
“It has been a tough period for longer than this year and they have all stuck together.
“The group of people we have all get on really well and that is what has helped us move forward and keep moving forward, so this is a cool thing that I’m sure they are extremely excited about.
“It should put a bounce in everyone’s step and bring some positivity back, and it re-energises the bunch which is good.”
Pye says he is open to racing overseas should the opportunity arise through the new partnership, but remains focussed on succeeding in Supercars.
“I am always open to the possibility of doing some extra racing but at the moment really my focus is Supercars,” he said.
“I have had a real rollercoaster ride through all aspects of Supercars with ownership changes and contracts excetera.
“I feel like now, and when I joined (Walkinshaw), that I have found a new home and I’m excited to be working with this bunch and what we can do in the future.
“My focus is solely on Supercars and trying to get this team a championship again, and this weekend trying to win Bathurst.”
Pye heads into today’s action at Mount Panorama having finished ninth overall on combined times alongside Warren Luff in Thursday practice.