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Pye not letting ‘evil’ Bathurst knock him down

SCOTT Pye is not giving up on his quest to stand atop the Mount Panorama podium despite a brutal last couple of visits.

Pye and Warren Luff were runners-up for Walkinshaw Racing/Walkinshaw Andretti United in both the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Bathurst 1000. Pye also has another four top seven finishes in the Great Race to his credit.

But the legendary circuit been far from kind to him lately.

Pye and James Golding were just about out on the spot last year due to power steering dramas.

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This time, his co-driver Tyler Everingham made it through one corner before sustaining considerable rear damage – unfortunately inflicted by the sister Team 18 car driven by Mark Winterbottom as the field concertinaed on Mountain Straight.

“It was disappointing but our race was kind of done on the first lap,” Pye surmised.

“We got hit from behind which damaged the rear roll bar which wasn’t repairable, it had broken off the chassis which meant we couldn’t fix it, so we did the race without it.

Pye (left) with Tyler Everingham. Pic: Team 18

“We had to pin the front bar, so it was okay for the first part of each stint but then we had some really bad tyre life.”

Pye conceded there had been mistakes along the way too, on their way to 16th at the flag.

“It was one of those days, Bathurst is evil sometimes but we’ll keep coming back and won’t stop trying and hopefully we can win it next time,” he said.

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The Irwin Commodore of Winterbottom/Michael Caruso didn’t fare much better, ending up one position and less than a second up the road after multiple early incidents and a slow mid-race pitstop for fresh brakes.

“I can’t believe we had damage after Turn 1. It was pretty chaotic, I can’t believe the way that race rolled out,” said 2013 Great Race winner Winterbottom.

Winterbottom runs ahead of Macauley Jones. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

“We were wounded and we got back in the fight. We got back to fifth in my stint and we were going really good.

“Caruso did a great job, he was solid all day, no mistakes and it was looking really good.

“The brake rotor change put us down a lap, we had a few complications there which put us down a lap.

“At the end of the day we were 15th and a day of what could have been.”

Winterbottom has however now moved into the top 10 in the championship, 16 points clear of the Blanchard Racing Team’s Tim Slade. Pye holds 16th overall.

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