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Pye scores Albert Park Porsche call-up

SCOTT Pye will make his Carrera Cup Australia debut at next month’s Albert Park opener, joining burgeoning Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport.

The deal will see him hop in a BWT-backed entry for Round 1, completing a high-profile PCMM driver trio alongside Fabian Coulthard and Harri Jones.

Pye and Coulthard were Supercars teammates in 2016 at DJR Team Penske and are now co-drivers at Triple Eight and Walkinshaw Andretti United, respectively.

Pye will get to grips with his Porsche during a test day tomorrow at Sandown.

“That will be my first impression of anything like this; even sitting on the opposite side of the car, driving with paddles, is all completely foreign having never done it before,” he said.

“So I’m excited for the challenges that will come with that and seeing what we can do at the Grand Prix.”

Scott Pye with Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport team principal Matt Cook. Pic: Supplied

He’s keeping expectations in check though, given the tight nature of the Carrera Cup field, with the likes of Coulthard and Garth Tander proving competitive but not dominant last year.

“Carrera Cup has become a place where there are some regulars that have been doing it for a long time and it’s a very competitive championship,” said Pye, whose sole Supercars Championship race win came at Albert Park six years ago.

“I think the cars are unique and I 100 percent respect the guys that are running at the front of that championship, I think they’re doing a great job and it’s not going to be an easy task.

“It’s not something where I’m just expecting to turn up and clean up or anything like that, I’m just expecting a big learning curve and it’s one that I’m not taking lightly.

“I’m making sure I prepare for this as good as I can, because I don’t think the competition in Carrera Cup at the moment should be underestimated.”

While handy miles ahead of co-driving with Supercars championship leader Will Brown in the Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000, Pye is viewing the PCMM outing as more than that.

Scott Pye. Pic: Supplied

“It’s a good opportunity to get some more miles and do something at speed again, rather than driving my road car around every day,” he explained.

“Opportunities like this are certainly good to keep my eye in and Albert Park is a track that I love and Porsche Centre Melbourne is a great team as well to be doing it with.

“I’m very familiar with (team principal) Matty Cook and I got to meet the team there on Tuesday.

“They’re a great group of guys who do a pretty unreal job, so it’s a good team to be rolling in with.

“It’s all positive and for me the biggest one is getting miles – but at the same time I also want to do a really good job for the brands that are on the car like BWT and take this not just as an opportunity to get miles, but an opportunity to put the car at the front and give value to everyone that has backed me to do this for them for the weekend.

“I’m taking it really seriously because I know there’s an investment in it.”

Nevertheless, watching Triple Eight’s relentless display at last weekend’s Thrifty Bathurst 500 was assuring.

“What they showed is that they never rest, they don’t stop, they’re always looking for that little bit more and trying to improve their performance every year and every day,” said Pye.

“I really enjoyed watching it actually, it was definitely a different feeling sitting on the couch but I was really happy for Will and Broc (Feeney). It’s good for them to take the mantle and lead the team into that next phase.”

Pye and Cook are familiar to one another from their former Triple Eight days, stretching back to 2012 when the Banyo squad fielded Pye in Super2.

“We found ourselves in a unique situation where we were able to run three cars at the Australian Grand Prix,” Cook said.

“I’ve known Scott for a very long time and I reached out to him – he was the first name on the list that I thought of – and he was very gracious and we managed to put together a deal.”

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