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DEWALT Racing driver Scott Pye brought home a strong sixth-place finish in Race 29 on Saturday at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, as IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom finished in 12th.

Pye qualified tenth for the race after progressing through to the Top 10 Shootout earlier in the day. Winterbottom was strong in qualifying but missed out on a top 10 berth by less than a tenth of a second in 13th.

With the option to start on the hard or super-soft tyre compound, the team elected to place an each-way bet, with Pye starting on super softs and Winterbottom starting on hards.

As the race began, Pye instantly made ground on the hard-tyre starters and moved up to third place by Lap 6 behind Whincup and Van Gisbergen, while Winterbottom dropped two spots to soft-tyre runners to sit in 15th

The safety car was called on Lap 7, as the team called both cars in for a double-stack service. Pye switched back to hards while Winterbottom remained on the hard compound for his second stint.

Pye rejoined in second place behind Whincup, while Winterbottom emerged back in 15th spot.

Pye built a gap on the field early in the second stint before falling back to sixth behind a number of competitors ran who ran Super Softs in their second stint.

Winterbottom pitted for Super Softs with 27 laps to run, and showed good pace early to climb up to 11th from 16th. Winterbottom was within striking distance of the top ten runners before suffering badly due to a lack of tyre life at the end of the stint to come home in 12th.

Pye swapped back to Super Softs with 22 laps to run and dropped back slightly off the leaders but controlled the gap to the drivers behind to finish well in sixth-place.

Team 18 returns to the track tomorrow for Race 30 of the Repco Supercars Championship at 3:15pm AEDT, live on Channel 7, Fox Sports and Kayo.

RESULTS + QUOTES

Scott Pye, driver – #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying (Race 29): 7th (1:30.1033)
Top 10 Shootout: 10th (1:30.3039)
Race 29: 6th (Fastest lap: 1:31.2592)

“It was pretty good day.

“We moved forwards to P2 after the safety car restart and we were able to run away with Jamie [Whincup] and put a gap on the field.

“Unfortunately though we were a little unlucky with the tyres and the way they were used throughout the race with the super softs and the hards, we missed out on a podium at the end by only one and a half seconds.

“I think it’s going to be wet all day tomorrow so it should be a mixed bag, but we’ll be happy with our performance today and come back for more tomorrow.”

Mark Winterbottom, driver – #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying (Race 29): 13th (1:30.3039)
Race 29: 12th (Fastest lap: 1:32.1326)

“I made a good start and had reasonable pace on the hard tyre and we were in a really good position, but tyre life was really bad on the super softs.

“Our car balance was strong, I’m not sure why we couldn’t keep the right front tyre from suffering as much as it did at the end.

“I’m disappointed to be fair but we’ll turn it around for tomorrow. We were in a good position there if we were fast enough and did a good job, but didn’t have the pace at the end to move forwards.

“It’s looking like it’s going to all day tomorrow so we’ll see how that mixes things up.”