2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

DEWALT Racing’s pairing of Scott Pye and Dean Fiore have placed sixth at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, matching Team 18’s best finish at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

As the final round of the 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, this result ensured Pye sealed ninth in the drivers standings, as the teams championship saw Team 18 rise to sixth place in its first year as a two-car squad.

In doing so, Team 18 has leapt past Kelly Racing, Brad Jones Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United in the teams points which dictate the all-important pit lane order for the following season.

The day started dramatically for the DEWALT Racing Holden, with Dean Fiore parked up with low oil pressure on Mountain Straight on the out-lap of the traditional 20-minute warm-up session.

This proved to only be a failure of the oil pressure sensor, which the team repaired before taking the start.

West Australian Fiore made a clean start from 12th and drove the opening 48 laps before Pye jumped in for a double stint.

Pye spent the majority of his laps in fuel conservation mode, but steadily climbed into the top ten and sat ninth with 50 laps remaining when he made some ground on the front-runners.

Pye passed Jack Le Brocq for eighth at Forrests Elbow on Lap 135. and then Brodie Kostecki at Griffins Bend for seventh place before making his final pit stop with 21 laps remaining.

Pye passed team mate Winterbottom for sixth on Lap 145 and withstood the final two safety car restarts to finish narrowly behind series champion Scott McLaughlin in sixth. This was co-driver Fiore’s personal-best finish in the Bathurst 1000.

With the Bathurst 1000 concluding the 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, the Team 18 crew will return to their homes in Victoria tomorrow for the first since they left 105 days ago.

Team 18 will continue to field two cars in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship for Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye, with further announcements regarding next season to be made in due course.

Attention now turns to the Repco Supercars Pro ESeries, where James Golding will represent Team 18 in the online racing competition commencing on October 28.

Scott Pye
driver #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“We asked a lot of Dean [Fiore] at the start of the race. The first safety car fell a bit short of the window to get me in, so we gave him a full double stint first up and he was just awesome,” said Pye.

“We didn’t drop below our starting position and that put us in a good spot for the end of the race when I got some clean air and we were able to show the car speed we had.

“There were cars behind that had fuel in hand on us, so it was really important for us to get past Le Brocq and Kostecki and try to put some air between us.

“I think our speed was about where we finished in sixth, so really happy for the team who did an amazing job, we had some challenges throughout the day but they never gave up.

“I’m stoked to come home ninth in the championship in our first year together, we’re always chasing better so It’s not where I want to end up, but it’s a good start for where we want this team to go.

“Sydney Motorsport Park 1 was tough but the second round there was a turning point for us in our car for this season, and to back that up week-in week-out at different circuits shows the strong race pace we’ve got, and the last couple of stints in the race showed that we had that speed again.

“This year was a tough start with the mechanical failure in Adelaide and not scoring many points which put us on the back foot and 22nd in the championship after SMP1, but it’s been a hard slog, we never gave up, worked hard and it’s put is a good spot for next year.”

Dean Fiore
co-driver #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“It was really good to finally get a race under my belt with Team 18,” said Fiore.

“It was good to get the start and the first lap done. I’m always very anxious and nervous about that but I was glad to get off the line well and place the car in the right areas to capitalise on a decent first lap and settle in to a rhythm.

“I was still learning each lap and getting coached from Phil [Keed] on the radio in terms of how to tune it, I learnt so much today and had a ball doing it.

“The whole experience was awesome, ever since I landed on the Gold Coast two weeks ago, spending all the time with the lads.

“Usually you would have a house just for drivers for Bathurst but we mixed it in with some engineers and mechanics as well and to see how hard they work first-hand was quite an eye-opener for me to see they pretty much worked to midnight each night.

“So to do it for them is great and also for Charlie [Schwerkolt], he puts in a lot of time, effort and money into this and to have two cars in the top ten at Bathurst in the first year is a monster feat, it’s extraordinary.”\Charlie Schwerkolt
team owner, Team 18/IRWIN Racing/DEWALT Racing

“This is definitely up there in my achievements in Supercars,” said Schwerkolt.

“For both cars to come home sixth and eighth at Bathurst is sensational, and to be ninth and tenth in the championship is a credit to all involved, a lot of people thought we couldn’t do that.

“We’ve moved up in the pit lane order as well which is fantastic, I feel like we’re hitting our stride and getting better as a team every time we hit the track.

“All four drivers never put a foot wrong, and same with the crew, they were amazing, They’ve sacrificed so much and they’ve done an awesome job for us this week and for the last 15 weeks they have been away from home.

“I have a massive appreciation for everyone at Stanley Black & Decker and all of our partners who have stuck by this team and I during this time.

“Supercars have done an amazing job to keep the sport going as well. You look at all of the other sports and we have really stood out and excelled as a mainstream sport during COVID.

“Everyone I spoke to said the presentation of the sport was outstanding and it felt like a normal Bathurst 1000 for those watching from home.

“To re-sign Frosty, to have Scotty on board and a really well-bonded team, I think we’ve got what it takes to be a consistent threat in this championship next year.

“We’ve still got things to fix up and more to achieve, but we’re in good shape to bounce back strongly in 2021.”