Scott Pye delivers DJR a Top 10 practice result at Gold Coast 600
The Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 roared into life today with four practice sessions for the V8 Supercars.
Two sessions were dedicated to co drivers only, but the fastest runs came in the final 30 minute practice when the teams rolled out new Dunlop slicks from the weekend’s allocation.
The day started well for Scott Pye in the first practice session with the DJR driver topping the time sheets for the first time in 2014. Pye was happy with the balance of the car and felt that there was a lot more to come from the Wilson Security Falcon. Team mate David Wall was caught out by the kerb hopping sensors in the first session and was ‘sin binned’ for the mandatory minute in pit lane. He was running older practice tyres than Pye and remained confident that the #17 DJR Falcon would be on the pace later in the day.
Practice sessions 2 and 3 were devoted to the co drivers ensuring much valuable mileage was gained for the number two drivers. Ash Walsh was aboard Pye’s car but a small brush with the wall shortened his first session. Steve Johnson was happy to back in #17 in front of his home crowd and immediately moved the WSR Ford up the time sheets. Although not 100% happy with the set up Stevie J was comfortably in the Top 10 in position seven.
After an hour’s break the co drivers were back out again for a 30 minute session and the two DJR cars really came on song. With lap times improving, Johnson and Walsh were the quickest of all the Fords running line astern in 6th and 7th. Both drivers were happy with the changes made to the cars and handed them back for the main drivers to complete the day’s practice.
The final run saw times tumble into the 1.10 second bracket, but the kerb hopping penalties were still being handed out lap after lap. Scott Pye was quickly into the Top 10 and was to finish the day in an excellent 7th overall. David Wall was back in #17 but encountered a half spinning Tim Slade on his best lap and finished in P23.
All four drivers believe the race package will be very good, but a strong Qualifying performance on Saturday for the first 300km leg will be critical on this demanding street circuit.
Scott Pye – Wilson Security Racing Falcon #16
“We rolled the car out onto the track this morning and were quick straight away. Today really has been a good start as we have had a car running in the Top 10 in every session. Ash did a good job to be in P7 after his sessions, so it has set us up well.
“I made a few little errors on my last run on the new tyres which cost us a bit. I think the car was capable of top three position today. We now have to focus on Qualifying. Making the Top 10 Shootout is our goal but all in all a good first day.”
Ash Walsh - Wilson Security Racing Falcon #16
“After the first session I had to bounce back and make sure I kept it off the walls. We ran through a few changes which really improved the car. I wanted to make sure I got comfortable with the car and concentrates on the kerbs. We have room to improve for sure, and I feel we really have a competitive package here.”
David Wall - Wilson Security Racing Falcon #17
“Unfortunately Tim Slade had a lose in front of me on our best lap, so really didn’t get to finish the lap. The car balance was good though; Steve did a great job of setting the car up after his two stints and it did take a bit of getting used to. It was quite different to what I am used to but essentially if feels very good.”
Steve Johnson - Wilson Security Racing Falcon #17
“It was a good day, but we still have a way to go. We are making progress with the car. It improves in one area then it lacks in another so we have to work on the total package tonight. I didn’t run on great tyres but I have given the guys the two areas we really need to focus on. If we can make those improvements it will be really good step for a race package.”