Pye sets pace in Sandown Warm Up

The Scott Pye/Warren Luff ZB Commodore

Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Scott Pye has set the pace in the Warm Up session for the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.

Pye drove the #2 ZB Commodore with the 1999 Mobil 1 Holden Racing Team livery to a best time of 1:08.1908s in the final three minutes of the 20-minute hit-out.

That effort was just enough to knock Scott McLaughlin off the top spot by 0.0302s after the championship leader had clocked a 1:08.2210s in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang less than a minute prior.

“This one’s a little bit more relaxed than the Bathurst (Warm Up),” said Pye, who put the car which he will share with Warren Luff in 23rd on the starting grid for the Sandown 500 itself.

“It’s so easy at Bathurst to stick it in the fence so around here you can have a bit of a crack and we had some fun.

“Yesterday, wrong tyre choice and balance was way off so we’ve got a lot of work to do today. That was important for us, that session, to see what car speed we’ve got.

“We really had to work on making sure we’ve got a good car under brakes as well because we’ve got plenty of overtaking we need to do today.”

On what changes were made to Car #2, Pye said, “Not massive.

“We haven’t actually had that much dry running. I think I’d only done four or five laps in the dry anyway.

“We made a couple of changes yesterday which we didn’t get a good feel on and then we ran them this morning and they seem to have really calmed the car down.

“Over a distance, I think it’ll be good but it was more about calming it down because I was struggling a lot on the way into Dandy Road so just getting the rear more stable so I can apply more brake pressure and then get off at the apex with that turn.”

Anton De Pasquale ended up third at just 0.0189s slower again in the #99 Penrite ZB Commodore, one position ahead of early pace-setter Lee Holdsworth (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang).

Nick Percat jumped from 23rd to fifth with the chequered flag out in Brad Jones Racing’s #8 Fujitsu ZB Commodore, while Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) was the last on the timesheet within a quarter of a second of the fastest lap of the session.

As well as the usual pit stop practice, which included both brake pad and driver changes, teams were reportedly experimenting with tyre pressures given the changeable weather conditions so far this weekend.

The Warm Up ran dry throughout, although again under grey skies.

Such weather has seen tyres take longer than usual to come up to temperature in both the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and Dunlop Super2 Series sessions, the latter of which is also on the super soft compound at Sandown.

Rounding out the top 10 was David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore), Fabian Coulthard (#12 Shell V-Power Mustang), James Courtney (#22 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore), and Tim Slade (#14 Freightliner ZB Commodore).

Garth Tander set an early lap which left Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore 12th, ahead of their last position start in today’s 161-lap race.

Armor All Pole-sitters Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes ended up 16th courtesy of the former’s efforts in the sister #888 ZB Commodore.

Race start for the final enduro of the season is 1325 local time/AEDT.

Results: Warm Up

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Fastest lap Split
1 2 Mobil 1 Racing S.Pye/W.Luff Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.1908  
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team S.McLaughlin/A.Premat Ford Mustang GT 1:08.2210 0:00.0302
3 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.2399 0:00.0491
4 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team L.Holdsworth/T.Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:08.3662 0:00.1754
5 8 Fujitsu Racing N.Percat/T.Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.4261 0:00.2353
6 55 Supercheap Auto Racing C.Mostert/J.Moffat Ford Mustang GT 1:08.4362 0:00.2454
7 9 Penrite Racing D.Reynolds/L.Youlden Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.4864 0:00.2956
8 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team F.Coulthard/T.D’Alberto Ford Mustang GT 1:08.5152 0:00.3244
9 22 Mobil 1 Racing J.Courtney/J.Perkins Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.5175 0:00.3267
10 14 Freightliner Racing T.Slade/A.Walsh Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.5227 0:00.3319
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Team C.Waters/M.Caruso Ford Mustang GT 1:08.5412 0:00.3504
12 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team S.van Gisbergen/G.Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.5783 0:00.3875
13 7 Plus Fitness Racing A.Heimgartner/B.Fullwood Nissan Altima 1:08.5809 0:00.3901
14 23 Milwaukee Racing W.Davison/A.Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:08.6401 0:00.4493
15 3 Racing G.Jacobson/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 1:08.6909 0:00.5001
16 888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team J.Whincup/C.Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.8104 0:00.6196
17 34 Boost Mobile Racing J.Golding/R.Muscat Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.8206 0:00.6298
18 15 Castrol Racing R.Kelly/D.Wood Nissan Altima 1:08.8340 0:00.6432
19 33 Boost Mobile Racing R.Stanaway/C.Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.9271 0:00.7363
20 18 Irwin Racing M.Winterbottom/S.Richards Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.9330 0:00.7422
21 21 Team CoolDrive M.Jones/D.Canto Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.9816 0:00.7908
22 35 Bigmate Racing T.Hazelwood/J.Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.0063 0:00.8155
23 56 Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers B.Kostecki/J.Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.0335 0:00.8427
24 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing J.Le Brocq/J.Webb Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.3348 0:01.1440
25 78 Team Harvey Norman S.De Silvestro/A.Rullo Nissan Altima 1:09.3629 0:01.1721

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]