First lap sets the tone in final race of the Sky City

June 21, 2015

HIDDEN VALLEY, DARWIN, NT, 21 June 2015: After a pair of Top 10 finishes on Saturday, Scott Pye was aiming to repeat the performance in the Shell Helix Ford Falcon FG X in the longer 200km final race today in Darwin.

A blistering qualifying session saw Pye just 3/10ths of a second from Pole Position which only translated into a P13 grid spot.

As the cars gridded up under clear and sunny skies, the bulk of the field opted for the Dunlop Soft tyre for the first short stint of the race, but the early laps did not play in Pye's favour. A slow start meant he dropped a few places then had a push from Craig Lowndes at Turn 5 which sent him wide and tumbled the DJR Team Penske pilot back to P23 at the end of Lap 1. From this point it was a matter of picking off cars to regain places as the race ran its course.

An early Pit Stop to switch Pye on the Dunlop Hard tyre came on Lap 11. Pye made solid progress over the next 19 laps before he was back in the Pit Lane on Lap 30 facing a 40 lap stint back on the Soft tyre.

The Shell Helix Ford worked its way up to P16 by race end following Craig Lowndes for some 16 laps before the chequered flag.

Overall the DJR Team Penske team had posted its best results of the year over the three races and carried a lot of the progress that was evident at Winton into the Darwin round. The next round of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship will see the Shell Helix Ford on the streets of Townsville in early July.

"Today was a bit disappointing really. The first lap we just could not take a trick and got shuffled around everywhere. It was compounded by a pretty average start, but the lap cost us about 10 places."

"We had a good run into Turn 5 and it looked like Craig (Lowndes) got bumped and came across the front of my car and sent me wide costing me a heap of spots. I then got caught by Tander coming onto the straight and ran into the back of him. We were a bit wounded from that point on with the front bar on the Shell Helix Ford looking skyward."

"Despite this we still had good pace, and although P16 is disappointing, we did show great progress across the weekend in racing and qualifying."