The Bend Saturday Debrief

Published: 24 August 2019
Scott Pye in the setting South Australian Sun.
Scott Pye in the setting South Australian Sun.

Pictured: Scott Pye in the setting South Australian Sun.

James Courtney has finished 10th, and Scott Pye 15th on Saturday at The Bend, Race 21 of the Championship.

Both cars moved forward in the 120km race, gaining a combined 12 positions.

After a positive final practice 3 to start the day, a tricky qualifying session ended with JC in 16th, and Scott 21st. Scott couldn’t find the required grip level in stage 1, while a light shower in stage 2 hurt JC’s final flyer.

In cold, windy conditions, the 24-lap race started with a bang, with both drivers avoiding the lap 1 chaos and keeping the cars straight.

Scott stopped early on lap 6, looking for the undercut, while the 22 side of the garage opted for the longer strategy, staying out until lap 14.

For Scott, it popped him out in clear air, which would become the story of the rest of the afternoon, as he found himself just off the back of the battle-pack in front, but with no real threat from behind.

JC went on the charge after popping back out in traffic, picking off the Mustangs of Holdsworth and Coulthard before finding himself in a scrap for the top-10 in the closing stages, where he got past Whincup.

Tomorrow starts with a final practice session in the morning, before qualifying and a 200km race to round out the weekend.

James Courtney

“It was good to get into the top 10 today, everyone worked hard to make it happen, and it was great to have that battle and pass a few cars.

“Still have a bit of work to do, but the car has been improving all weekend so I’m confident that will continue into tomorrow.”

Scott Pye

“That was a tough day, qualifying was poor, struggling a lot with the car balance.

“Feel like we’ve dropped away since last year and the car we had, but hopefully we can turn it around, the engineers will put their brainpower together overnight.

“We know it’s not good enough but we will be back tomorrow to try and do better.”