Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye brought home a fifth place finish in the first of two races at the NTI Townsville 500, while IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom finished 25th after a mechanical failure put a cruel end to a promising day.

Pye progressed through to the Top 10 Shootout and started tenth for Race 19, while Winterbottom qualified only a tenth of a second behind the shootout benchmark in 13th.

Winterbottom moved up to tenth on the first lap of Race 19 before settling into 12th, with Pye 13th.

Pye ran back-to-back stints on the Dunlop Hard tyre before swapping for Super Softs for the run to the flag, charging from 14th to fifth in a strong final stint.

Winterbottom opted for the Dunlop Super Soft tyres in the middle stint and moved up to fourth position with competitive pace.

Winterbottom made his final stop and sat in seventh with 20 laps remaining before a mechanical failure brought the IRWIN Commodore to the garage while on course for a strong result.

The team investigated the issue and sent Winterbottom back on track to take the chequered flag in 25th position.

Team 18 returns to the track tomorrow for Race 20 of the Repco Supercars Championship, with qualifying kicking off at 10:10am AEST, with Race 20 live on Channel 7, Fox Sports and Kayo.


Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying: 9th (1:13.6047)
Top 10 Shootout: 10th (1:14.3989)
Race 19: 5th (Fastest Lap: 1:14.1140)

“Today went really well. We qualified well and made the top 10 shootout. I struggled on the used tyre in the shootout but in the race we had great speed and moved through to fifth.

“A huge effort for everyone today, the pit stops were awesome again and to come away moving up five spots in the race and finishing up fifth is a really solid day considering the challenges we have had in the last few races. 

“88 laps are pretty gruelling on the cars around here so the crew are doing a mega job tonight giving it a birthday ready to go again tomorrow to last another 250 kilometres tomorrow.”

Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying: 13th (1:13.7711)
Race 19: 25th (Fastest Lap: 1:14.5840)

“Today was going alright. We had a pretty good start from 13th, worked our way forward and went for the soft rye in the middle stint and we were running in a good position

“We put hard tyres on for the last stint and unfortunately we’ve had a mechanical fail. 

“We’ll fix it tonight, I think we were on for about a seventh place finish so it would have been a good result starting where we did.

“I’m gutted but at the same time there’s positives to come out of the day and we get to race again tomorrow and have another chance at a result.”