Pye rebuffs ‘fake racing’ tyre criticism

Scott Pye

DeWalt Racing driver Scott Pye has rebuffed suggestions new tyre rules have led to “fake racing” in Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

With the resumption in the Supercars season following a coronavirus-induced break, the category has experimented with tyre allocations and compounds.

The most recent events on the calendar at Sydney Motorsport Park saw teams limited to just five sets of tyres.

The first event saw soft compound tyres solely used while the second event saw a mix of soft and hard compound tyres.

In the wake of those events, there have been suggestions that the tyre variations have had too great an impact on the racing.

Penrite Racing boss Barry Ryan labelled the move “fake racing” while Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Scott McLaughlin said he felt like a “shot duck” on hard tyres.

However, Pye believes the move has bridged the budget gap between teams.

He was among those to score a strong result in the second Sydney SuperSprint event, finishing fifth in Race 12 of the championship.

“I thought the racing back then was really cool,” Pye said of the mixed tyre compounds.

“The feedback from the fans was positive and it’s great for the sport to see different winners in each race.

“I know some people in the paddock have been critical of the ‘fake racing’, but I look at it as if it’s not any different to the difference in budgets up and down the pit lane.

“I think what it’s doing is giving people an equal opportunity to get a result across the weekend, and it’s great for the sponsors to get their time up the front as well.”

Pye said he will be interested to see how the tyre set-up fares at Hidden Valley Raceway.

For the forthcoming BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown, drivers will again be given two sets of soft tyres and three sets of hard compound tyres to use across the qualifying sessions, the top 15 shootout, and three races.

The CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint that follows will only see soft tyres used.

“The tyre degradation there is usually pretty high, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the mixed tyre format will work like we saw in Sydney,” said Pye.

“It’s a technical layout with a long Turn 1 hairpin, so getting good turn after the apex is important for the run to the infield section, and braking stability into Turn 4 where you always see the rears locking particularly late in the race when the rear tyres start to fade away.

“The final corner is another good overtaking spot, but you have to make sure the pass is done early because you’ve got a really long straight where you can be vulnerable on the run to the finish line.”

The Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway gets underway with Rookie Practice at 10:10 local time/10:40 AEST.

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