New Zealand is a wrap, and it was a day of mixed emotions between the two sides of the garage.
For Scott Pye and Car 02, their day was highlighted by Scotty’s climb from P19 on the grid to P10 at the end of the 200km race, but for Car 22 and James Courtney, their afternoon ended in the garage, as JC was an innocent bystander in the lap 1 mess.
The start of the day didn’t go to script for either car, with Scott qualifying in 19th, and JC 20th.
Both boys couldn’t find the drive they needed late in the session to climb up the order, which meant their work was going to be cut out for them in the 70-lap race.
Both cars got off the line cleanly, but once they hit the back of the circuit, that all changed.
A cluster of cars blocked the majority of the road in front of them. Scott was able to dive to the right, but JC had nowhere to go, making front on contact with multiple cars.
He pushed on initially, despite the bonnet being folded up, but when the guys in the garage got a closer look, it was obvious the radiator had been split, which was curtains on his afternoon.
Through Scott’s quick thinking, he moved up to 13th.
Some good car speed, and an early stop moved him up to ninth on the road by the middle of the race.
Pukekohe is a notoriously hard track to pass on, and Scott found that out the hard way.
He spent the rest of the race stuck behind Bright and Moffat, unable to find a way past.
That meant he went on to record a top 10 finish, which all things considered, is a good result for today.
He drove well, the car was kept straight, and we made some gains between qualifying and the race.
That concludes the weekend in Auckland.
We now switch the focus to the final round of the year, and the all new Newcastle street circuit.
We will be doing everything we can to send the year off in the best possible note.
“It was good to move forward today, we definitely improved the car between sessions, but it was frustrating not to be able to pick up a few more spots.
“The first lap was crazy, it was lucky we could dive to the inside and avoid it all, and after that it was important to get into a rhythm and push forward.
“We missed the mark in qualifying, which put us in the mess to start with, so we have to keep working at that.
“A top 10 is nice, but we’ve got to move on to Newcastle pretty quickly, making sure we send the year off on the right note.”
“What can you say about that, I had nowhere to go and the race was over like that.
“I feel for the guys, they worked hard all weekend, so to not complete the race isn’t fair on them.
“Bring on Newcastle.”