Scotty Pye’s Townsville Notebook
I was in Townsville on the weekend for the latest round of the V8 Supercar Championship.
Practice and qualifying for us was pretty similar when it came to running a green tyre. We struggled to get a good gain out of the fresher tyre and as a result would fall from the top ten on old tyres to outside the top 15 on new.
Qualifying for the Saturday races proved to be the toughest, I only managed P22 and P20. All of the Fords struggled with the best one being in 15th place.
Our race pace we knew was going to be our strength so I focused on making it through the first few laps cleanly then try to chip away at it. I managed the tyres well during the races and in both races I made my way up to P12 and was one of the fastest on track! I was very happy with this. I had some great battles and enjoyed pushing through the field. I got through both races without any contact as well which made it an easy night for the boys and meant we could really focus on any changes we needed to make for Sunday.
On Sunday we had another qualifying session before the 88lap 250km main race. I qualified P17 just .15 out of the top ten and was third of the Fords.
I made a good start and by half way round the first lap I had moved up to P13. There was a safety car on the first lap, Almost 20 cars took this opportunity to pit. We decided to stay out and go long in the first stint. This left me in p3 for the restart. Our pace was very good and I stayed glued to the rear of Scott Mclaughlin for 28 laps. We pulled away from the rest of the field but did not have the pace of Jamie Whincup. He pulled a lead and would go on to win the race. The way our strategy planned out it meant we needed to race like every lap was a qualifying lap as others had one less stop than us but would then need to save fuel and tyres to get to the end. I was within the top 3 for fastest laps of the race for the majority of the race and ended up passing Mclaughlin during the stops. This left me clean air to chase down championship leader Mark Winterbottom for p6. I caught him with ten laps to go but couldn’t get passed and eventually my tyres hit the cliff. I then lost a spot to Chaz Mostert right at the end that was on 15 lap fresher tyres. I finished up a very satisfying P8.
Over the weekend I passed 27 cars and went on to finish the round inside the top ten in points. I also came into this round in 20th in the Championship and have now moved up to 15th just 30 points off of my target of 12th.
Things are certainly getting there for the team and myself. I feel like my mechanics and engineers are really starting to gel along with my relationship with each of them.
The next round of the championship is at Queensland Raceway on the 1st-3rd of August.