DEWALT Racing’s Scott Pye scored his season best result with a top five in Race 24 in a chaotic day of racing to conclude the Armor All Sydney SuperNight.
Sunday’s running saw two back-to-back qualifying sessions in wet conditions. Pye and IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom qualified seventh and 13th respectively for Race 24, before both cars went backwards after a tyre change, with Winterbottom starting 21st and Pye 26th for Race 25.
The track dried up before cars went out to take the start of Race 24, with Scott heading out on soft tyres and Winterbottom starting on hards.
Pye passed Fullwood for sixth on Lap 3, and made up another position during the pit stop cycle to emerge in fifth as he closed in on the top four.
Winterbottom lost five spots in the opening two laps, and emerged back in 18th after the pit stops were completed. Switching from hards to softs, Winterbottom put in a stellar drive and preceded to storm back through the field, picking off cars one-by-one as he charged his way to tenth with three laps to go.
The heavens opened on the pre-grid for Race 25, with torrential rain coming down on Sydney Motorsport Park. The full field switched to the grooved Dunlop wet-weather tyre on the grid before setting off for the start.
Pye made an amazing jump off the line, making up seven positions on the opening lap before a safety car was called to clear an incident.
Winterbottom also made an incredible launch, avoiding carnage in front to make up seven spots on the first lap before taking an early stop to combat visibility issues.
A second safety car period was called on Lap 23 for another incident, as Winterbottom and Pye sat in 15th and 18th respectively before a red flag was called two laps later.
Conditions continued to deteriorate before the stewards declared the race finished and backdated the results with 23 laps completed.
Following the ninth event of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship, Winterbottom sits ninth (1398 points) in the Drivers’ Championship, with Pye in 14th (1205). Meanwhile, Team 18 sits seventh (2578) in the Teams’ Championship with three rounds remaining.
Team 18 returns to action next weekend for the BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint on 13-14 November.
Mark Winterbottom, driver – #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Race 24: Started 13th, Finished 10th
Race 25: Started 21st, Finished 15th
“I’ve never wanted a race to finish and be declared over ever more than that in my life.
“Visibility was ridiculous, I had oil all over the windscreen and literally could not see a thing, I felt blindfolded and it only got worse and worse as the race went on.
“To hang on and to get 15th, I think the car had pretty good pace but when you’re driving blindfolded that was all we had in these conditions.
“Our race pace in the dry looked reasonable in the first race today
“All-lin-all, a good weekend, we’ve got work to do before we go again next weekend.”
Scott Pye, driver – #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Race 24: Started 7th, Finished 5th
Race 25: Started 26th, Finished 18th
“It was a crazy finish to the second event here at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“It ended up under lights and under water, I think we’ve found a new definition for a wet race!
“It was an amazing weekend for us as a team. To bounce back from the trouble we had last week, to get two top tens, and while the last race didn’t quite go to plan, they actually stopped the race early.
“The weather was bad, visibility was extremely poor and I believe the stewards made the right call, they called the race off which means that’s it until next week.
“I’m really proud of everyone here at Team 18, full credit to them. They have given me a completely different car and one that’s really quick, so I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.
“I’m pumped to come back for these next two events, I feel we’re in a really good position to push for some strong results.”