THE opening race of the Repco Mount Panorama 500 will mark Scott Pye’s 250th Supercars Championship race start.
Pye is one of the form drivers in the championship, finishing ninth in the 2020 standings with three podium finishes in his first season at Team 18.
The Melbourne-based South Australian has had a tumultuous Supercars journey to date, spending his first 249 races with four different teams – and two of those underwent ownership changes during his tenure!
V8 Sleuth looks back at the milestone races on Pye’s road to 250.
Race #1 – Sandown 500, 2012
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Commodore VE, with Taz Douglas
Grid: 28th, Result: 24th
Pye debuted in the championship as a co-driver to Taz Douglas in Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s iSelect Commodore at the 2012 Sandown 500.
It came amid the then 22-year-old’s rookie Dunlop Super2 Series campaign with Triple Eight and preceded a move into a full-time main game seat with LDM the following year.
Race #50 – Perth 400 Race 3, 2014
Dick Johnson Racing Falcon FG
Grid: 20th, Result: 12th
By the time his 50th race came around Pye had moved to Dick Johnson Racing and was in his second full-time season in the Supercars Championship.
The milestone race came at Barbagallo – a venue where he’d suffered a frightening incident aboard the LDM car the year prior. He finished 12th in Race #50 and left Perth 19th in the standings.
Race #100 – Phillip Island SuperSprint Race 1, 2015
DJR Team Penske Falcon FG X
Grid: 8th, Result: 13th
Pye’s career took a few more turns before Race #100 came around, having lost his full-time seat when Team Penske took over DJR ahead of 2015 only to regain it again when Marcos Ambrose stepped back.
Pye brought up his century in the opening race of the year’s penultimate event, the Phillip Island SuperSprint. He finished 13th in that race as the team continued to find its feet.
Race #150 – Ipswich SuperSprint Race 2, 2017
Mobil 1 HSV Racing Commodore VF
Grid: 17th, Result: 16th
Having been replaced by Scott McLaughlin at the end of 2016, Pye moved to Mobil 1 HSV Racing – a new name for the former Holden Racing Team – alongside James Courtney.
The team struggled and Pye sat 18th in the standings by the time his 150th career race came up at Ipswich, where he finished 16th. A strong run to second at Bathurst eventually helped him finish the season 11th.
Race #200 – Phillip Island SuperSprint Race 1, 2019
Walkinshaw Andretti United Commodore ZB
Grid: 8th, Result: 8th
Pye’s 200th race came at the same location as his 100th, Phillip Island. By this point Pye was driving for another US racing legend, Michael Andretti, as part of the new-for-2018 Walkinshaw Andretti United alliance.
Pye had secured a breakthrough maiden win with the team early in 2018 but endured a tough start to ’19 and was buried in 16th in the championship heading into his 200th, which he started and finished eighth.
Race #250 – Mount Panorama 500 Race 1, 2021
Team 18 Commodore ZB
Pye’s 250th race will kick-off his second season at Charlie Schwerkolt’s Team 18, driving the DeWalt-backed Commodore alongside teammate Mark Winterbottom’s IRWIN entry.
The milestone arrives with the 31-year-old in career-best form, having scored Team 18’s first three podiums as a standalone squad in 2020 en route to ninth in the championship.
“It’s been a long journey to this point, so to be about to make my 250th Supercars race start is something I’m very proud of,” said Pye.
“While it’s great to look back at the memories, I’m as pumped as ever for what the future is going to bring and I hope there’s a lot more to come.
“I’m feeling much better than I have for a long time heading into a new season and here at Team 18 I feel that I’ve found the right place to perform at my best.”