Pye tops tyre-affected Townsville Supercars Practice

Scott Pye

Team 18’s Scott Pye has set the pace in the sole practice session for the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.

With this weekend’s seventh event of the Repco Supercars Championship a late addition to the calendar, and coming straight after one at the same Reid Park Street Circuit, each driver was allocated 12 pre-marked and 20 ‘event marked’ (ie new) tyres for the two days of action.

While that meant most would have had to dip into the tyres they will use for qualifying and racing if they wanted to run a green during the 45-minute hit-out, several reportedly still had new hoops in their pre-marked bank.

Among those were Pye, who was the only driver into the ‘twelves’, in his #20 DeWalt ZB Commodore, while Anton De Pasquale managed second-fastest in the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang despite apparently having only used pre-marked rubber.

James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), another with new tyres in the bank, ended up third, one spot up on Red Bull Ampol Racing’s championship leader, Shane van Gisbergen.

Those two were also involved in one of the stranger moments of the session, with Courtney and van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) making early nose-to-tail contact on an out lap at Turn 2.

Said Pye at the conclusion of proceedings, and after a tough outing last weekend, “It’s hard to pick yourself up sometimes after those weekends but all you can do… it’s lucky, we’ve got five days and then you get to go again and have another crack at it.

“The guys have done a big turnaround this week to get all the cars back to where they should be.

“But, to be honest, our race pace last weekend was good, we were just three laps down but we ran with Jamie [Whincup] and Shane.

“I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse watching the two leaders and driving with them for 88 laps, but the car is good.

“We just need to keep our focus, keep our chin up and try to get something out of this weekend before we go home.”

Jamie Whincup (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore) had been fastest after the first flyers with a 1:14.3134s and set a 1:14.2172s on his second, before Todd Hazelwood (#14 ZB Commodore) clocked a 1:13.9944s.

Hazelwood was quickly usurped by Zane Goddard (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore) on a 1:13.8826s, then David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Mustang) went top with a 1:13.5371s on his first run proper.

Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), who is without regular engineer Sam Potter this weekend due to surgery, was next to take the ascendancy with a 1:13.4174s on his second run, almost 10 minutes in.

De Pasquale went second-quickest with a 1:13.4878s on his second run, and that was the last change to the top three until the 28th minute, when Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) set a 1:13.5116s.

The fastest lap was finally reset when Will Brown (#9 Pedders ZB Commodore) rolled out a 1:13.3411s on his fifth run with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Reynolds went third with a 1:13.4832s after another five minutes, just before Pye set the 1:12.9331s which would be the fastest lap of the session.

De Pasquale subsequently moved to second on a 1:13.0982s, while Courtney ended up third with a 1:13.2298s and van Gisbergen fourth with a 1:13.2728s just before the chequered flag.

Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang) made for Tickford Racing entries third and fifth, with Brown sixth, from Hazelwood, Waters, and Bryce Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore).

Whincup rounded out the top 10 on a 1:13.4437s, ahead of Percat, Reynolds, and Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore).

Qualifying for Race 17 is a knockout affair including the Top 10 Shootout as Part 3, and gets underway from 13:45 local time/AEST.

Results: Practice

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.9331
2 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:13.0982 0:00.1651
3 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:13.2298 0:00.2967
4 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.2728 0:00.3397
5 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:13.3110 0:00.3779
6 9 Erebus Pedders Racing William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.3411 0:00.4080
7 14 Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.3515 0:00.4184
8 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:13.4174 0:00.4843
9 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.4246 0:00.4915
10 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.4437 0:00.5106
11 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.4738 0:00.5407
12 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:13.4832 0:00.5501
13 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.5718 0:00.6387
14 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.5819 0:00.6488
15 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:13.5843 0:00.6512
16 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.5902 0:00.6571
17 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.6216 0:00.6885
18 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.6857 0:00.7526
19 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.7111 0:00.7780
20 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:13.7512 0:00.8181
21 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:13.7852 0:00.8521
22 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:14.0361 0:01.1030
23 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:14.0382 0:01.1051
24 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:14.0389 0:01.1058

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