Team 18 duo look to convert qualifying pace into podiums

Mark Winterbottom

Team 18 duo Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye are hopeful they can turn two top three qualifying performances into podium success at Hidden Valley Raceway.

Pye was the quickest of the pair in Qualifying for Race 17 at the CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint with the third fastest time while Winterbottom was fifth fastest.

Qualifying for Race 18 brought similarly strong results, this time Winterbottom at the fore with the third quickest time, Pye, meanwhile in eighth.

“Man, that quali is good fun,” said Winterbottom after the second session.

“You’re nervous because you know you’re a chance. You’re wringing its neck – and if I have too much breakfast I’ll probably cost myself pole, that’s how tight it is.

“That was good fun, I really loved that and we’ll tune up for the race and go again.”

Pye was similarly stoked with his qualifying effort, but said there was more time to find.

“The biggest positive for us here is every session now we’ve been pretty fast,” said Pye.

“I screwed up that lap. I locked a front (wheel) on the way in and dumped all our time so I was a bit annoyed because there was obviously good pace in Quali 1.

“(It) looked like we were going to go again, potentially third or fourth in Quali 2 and you’re just pushing it.

“It’s awesome, you’ve got a fast car so you don’t want to leave anything on the table, those things happen.

“Driver needs a tune up for the race but we’ve got a quick race car too. I keep saying it but I just want to try to put it on show again and get a result today.

“But yeah, third, eighth, and on the other side, I think a third and a fifth, so fast race cars/”

Winterbottom said the team is starting to hit its stride in what is the second of two events at Hidden Valley Raceway.

Winterbottom said he hoped to improve on his result in Race 16 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which saw him finish 11th having started ninth.

“Although our race didn’t go that great yesterday, we’re attacking the time boards, we’re getting credibility and we’re learning, we’re moving forward.

“Now we’ve got to turn that into trophies and try to get some good results. We’ve got plenty in the toolbox but whether it works or not, we’ll find out,” said Winterbottom.

Race 17 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is scheduled to start at 12:00 local time/12:30 AEST.

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