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HomeNewsPye, Winterbottom's big calls for Supercars opener

Pye, Winterbottom’s big calls for Supercars opener

THE lingering unknowns attached to Gen3 have scared some drivers off making public statements about goals for the Newcastle 500 and beyond; not Scott Pye.

The Repco Supercars Championship race winner is sensing an opportunity to strike and is not hiding from that.

“I’d love to start where we finished off last year, qualifying on the front row on a street circuit relatively similar,” Pye said.

“My expectations are high, I want to be on the front row or in the top five and challenging right at the pointy end at the word go.”

The 33-year-old’s confidence owes to his belief in Team 18’s pre-season form, and a love for the Newcastle street circuit where he has five top 10 results from six starts.

“After the first race we’ll know where we all sit, but personally I’m feeling really confident,” he continued.

“Testing has been good relative to the rest of the field, I think it’s pretty strong but I’m excited for the challenge and pumped to be heading straight back to a street circuit.

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“I’m confident going back to Newcastle, I love that circuit. I’ve had some really good runs there in the past.

“I crashed there in qualifying in 2019 which meant I started dead last but drove through to fourth under full green flag conditions.

“I go back there with some good memories which fill me with confidence, I’m comfortable in the car, we’ve done a lot of laps, and I head to Newcastle feeling really positive and excited.”

Pye’s optimism is shared by his teammate Mark Winterbottom.

“I think we’re competitive, but time will tell,” said the 2015 champion.

Team manager Bruin Beasley (left) with Mark Winterbottom. Pic: Supplied

“There’s a bit going on in the world of Supercars regarding who’s fast and who’s not, I feel like the car is giving me the right feedback and that’s what I go off, the car is responding so good to changes.

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“Come Sunday night at Newcastle there will be two winners and if we could be one or both of them then we’re going alright, but time will tell.”

Team 18 is this year operating fully independent, having ended its Triple Eight technical alliance.

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