Pye rewards Team 18 after mammoth rebuild

Scott Pye scored sixth in Race 13. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Scott Pye has come away from the opening race in Winton satisfied with sixth just weeks on from a nightmare crash in Perth.

Prior to this weekend’s event at Winton Motor Raceway, the Nulon Racing driver said he wanted to reward Team 18 for its mammoth rebuild of his Holden ZB Commodore.

That came after a sizeable crash at the most recent round of the Repco Supercars Championship, the Perth SuperNight at Wanneroo Raceway.

After qualifying 10th for Race 13 of the championship, Pye raced his way into the top five before being demoted late in the piece to sixth by Penrite Racing’s Lee Holdsworth.

All in all, it was reason to smile after going point-less in the most recent two races.

“When you go from two races of zero points because the car looks like a Barina, sixth is a good start,” Pye told Speedcafe.com.

“Hopefully tomorrow there’s more points on the table. I think the really positive thing with today was that we were able to move forward in the race and hold our own.

“We qualified 10th but we raced quicker than 10th, so I was really happy to come away with sixth legitimately.

“You always want more, but the big thing is just getting some points on the board again and getting back in the race and then getting a clean one under your belt.”

Outside of Shane van Gisbergen, who placed second in Race 13 of the season, Pye was the next best of the Triple Eight Race Engineering-built cars.

Having shown top five pace in the opening two practice sessions and qualifying, Pye said Sunday’s sessions are all about continuing that form.

“I think we’ve ended a bit disappointed because top five sounds a lot better than top six,” Pye admitted.

“I think tomorrow needs to be top fives and try and tune the car up.

“We need to find a little bit of speed in the first sector through Turn 3 and Turn 4 particularly.

“If we can do that, then I think we can contend for a top five or even snag a trophy if things go our way.”

Two qualifying sessions take place tomorrow morning to determine the grid for Race 14 and Race 15, the first of which gets underway at 09:40 local time/AEST.

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