Sunday Debrief: NZ

Published: 15 September 2019
Scott Pye finished inside the 10.
Scott Pye finished inside the 10.

Pictured: Scott Pye finished inside the 10.

A crazy afternoon at the track has resulted in Scott Pye finishing sixth, and James Courtney 17th in Race 24 at Pukekohe.

A mid-race safety car caused confusion everywhere, with the team and Scott capitalising to move inside the top-10, while JC found himself on the wrong-end of the drama, dropping him down the order. It was the highs and lows of motorsport at once.

Once again, rain threatened all day, but it had no impact on any of the on-track activity.

This morning’s qualifying session was disappointing, with Scott setting the 17th best time, and JC the 18th.

After a clean start, JC stopped on lap 10, before safety car was called two laps later, which was when Scott dived in the lane.

That’s when the raced turned into mayhem, with Jamie Whincup, the leader of the race, passing the safety car, while the rest of the field waited.

Those who had stopped earlier, like JC, were effectively hampered by the delay in letting other cars past to join the back of Whincup.

What it meant though, was Scott was able to move himself inside the top-10 with 55-laps to go.

Both cars ran a shorter second stint, leaving them 40-odd laps to get home.

To add to his day, JC had to battle a front roll-bar issue in the last stint.

Scott also had to push hard in the closing stages, as Mark Winterbottom in front was given a 15-second penalty, a gap Scott had to stay under. The task was made more difficult by the fact Frosty had 10-lap fresher tyres, but Scott got the job done to grab a top-six finish. It was a good fight.

As we sign off from Auckland and load the cars up on the boat, our attention turns to the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, with the big one up first, Bathurst.