Solid Saturday in Newcastle

Published: 24 November 2018
Scott moved to 7th in the Championship.
Scott moved to 7th in the Championship.

Pictured: Scott moved to 7th in the Championship.

Scott Pye has finished fifth, and James Courtney seventh in the first of two 250km races around Newcastle, the second last race of the season.

In what was a chaotic race at times, to have both cars finish inside the top seven was a good result for the entire team, and a solid foundation to build from for tomorrow.

Importantly, the result has moved us up into fifth in the Teams Championship, just 36 points behind fourth, and for Scott, it has pushed him up into seventh in the Drivers Championship, on-track for a career high.

Qualifying saw JC set the eighth fastest time, and Scotty the 12th. With no shootout today, that’s where they started the 95-lap race.

It was 250km’s that had it all.

JC was the first of our two cars to stop as he entered pit lane on lap 17, while Scott pressed on until lap 30.

When the safety car was called 10 laps later, chaos broke out in pit lane, with Lowndes hitting the back of Scott while double stacking, and JC being blocked by Nissan as they did the same.

While still under safety car, JC stopped a second time to top up with fuel to get home, while Scott went the opposite, popping out in second, pushing hard before stopping a final time.

As JC went on the conserve, Scott pressed on until 18 laps to go, putting four fresh tyres on and chasing down the rest of the field.

He got as high as fifth, but needed a late safety car to make any further ground on those in front. JC also needed a few things to fall his way to make up a few more places.

The car speed was strong today, proven by opposite strategies yielding similar results. It’s a good spot to build from as we chase fourth in the championship tomorrow and look to finish the year with a few more trophies.

Scott Pye

“That car speed was really good. It was a shame we couldn’t stay in the position we were in before the last stop, but that’s how it goes.

“We definitely had a car good enough for a podium today, but a few things didn’t go our way.

“Still really happy to get the top five, and move up to seventh in the championship, just need to consolidate it tomorrow, and push for fourth in the Teams.”

James Courtney

“A few little things didn’t fall our way today but that’s racing, it was still a solid result.

“The car was quite good, and it was a handy haul of points for the team which was really important.

“It’s a nice way to build into tomorrow, and hopefully we can push a bit higher up the order and send the year off on a good note!”