How Pye’s first Triple Eight tenure was meant to be different

Scott Pye. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

SCOTT Pye will reunite with Triple Eight Race Engineering next year, bringing his Supercars career full circle.

Pye was a Triple Eight protégé back in the day, finishing runner-up in the 2012 Super2 Series to Scott McLaughlin after returning from the European open-wheel season.

He moved on from Triple Eight and Super2 after a single season and has been full-time in the main game ever since.

But that’s not how the plans were initially drawn up, the now 33-year-old has revealed.

“The original plan for me was to do two years of Super2 but the first year went really well with the race wins and poles and I think we exceeded our own expectations, so opportunities came up for me to step up,” Pye told V8 Sleuth.

“And then obviously there was the switch to Red Bull as well when Casey Stoner came in (as Triple Eight’s Super2 driver).

“So things didn’t line up and unfortunately there has been a few times in my career where I’ve felt that.”

It was always going to be difficult to graduate into Triple Eight’s top team, given its superstar partnership of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes still had plenty of seasons left in them.

“I think my timing was probably unfortunate,” said Pye.

“That Super2 year, one of the most flattering compliments I’ve gotten was probably Roland (Dane)’s comments in their 10-year anniversary about my season and how satisfying that was for him.

Scott Pye drove for Triple Eight in 2012. Pic: / Dirk Klynsmith

“I’m sure if circumstances were different with the driver line-up they had, there might have been an opportunity to go full-time but it wasn’t the case and Roland put me in a spot where I transitioned into the main series anyway the following year (with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport).

“There was no opportunity full-time at Triple Eight at the time and we saw there wasn’t one for a long time with Craig and Jamie, and by then I was obviously at different teams and things had moved on.

“We saw with Broc (Feeney), the timing aligned really well with him out of Super2.

“It has taken us time but it has come to fruition now and I’m excited about contributing whatever I can.”

Out with a point to prove, Pye is pumped to finish his Team 18 chapter on a high at next weekend’s VAILO Adelaide 500.

“I feel very confident going to Adelaide,” he said.

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.