Tough day for DJR Team Penske in final race of Townsville 400

July 12, 2015

TOWNSVILLE, QUEENSLAND, 12 JULY 2015: After an excellent result in the first 200km race on Saturday, DJR Team Penske were focused on gaining another good result in the final leg of the Townsville 400 today. Qualifying was run over a 20 minute session prior to the race, but Shell Helix Falcon driver Scott Pye could not replicate the Saturday performance and would start from P17.

The race took a similar pattern to the first race with every car starting on the Dunlop Soft tyre with a view to taking an early Pit Stop, swapping compounds then returning to the soft tyre for the run home. This strategy was working well for Pye who steadily moved up the field settling into P11 as the first round of stops was completed. A solid middle stint in the Shell Helix Falcon FG X put Pye in a good position for the latter stages of the race. He was battling with Lowndes and Todd Kelly just outside the Top 10.

Taking his second stop on Lap 34, Pye would have to run a 36 lap segment on the Dunlop Soft tyres and was looking at a solid finishing position. But Lap 40 would see a locked brake into Turn 11 and an off track excursion. As the field were running close behind, Pye dropped eight spots to fall to P20. This effectively stifled his push up the leader board as he had to nurse badly worn tyres for a further 30 laps. He finally crossed the line in P19, ending a disappointing day for the team.

There were a lot of positives however from the weekend with good performances in Practice, Qualifying and a Top 5 race result on Saturday. The DJR Team Penske crew will build on this at the next round at Queensland Raceway.

"A dramatic turnaround from Saturday! We missed the mark in Qualifying today and put ourselves behind the eight ball. The boys gave me a good strategy and running longer in the first stint on the soft tyre gave us good track position.

"I thought we were looking good for around P10 and after the second stop we were on target for that. I made a costly mistake at Turn 11 locking up and running off. It was game over from that point. A real disappointment for the whole DJR Team Penske crew as we had put in a strong weekend to that point."