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Grid set for Team 18's tilt on 2020 Bathurst 1000

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

DEWALT Racing’s pairing of Scott Pye and Dean Fiore and IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and James Golding will start 12th and 18th respectively for the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, after a late shower put paid to any hopes of progressing into the the Top 10 Shootout during qualifying this afternoon.

The second of four days of on-track action at Mount Panorama saw two one-hour practice sessions, before a 40 minute qualifying session in the afternoon.

Golding completed the opening session of the day exclusively for co-drivers in the IRWIN Commodore, finishing seventh fastest with a time in the low 2:05s.

Winterbottom was set to improve from 17th fastest in Practice 5 before he was caught behind Scott McLaughlin when he crashed at Forrests Elbow at the end of the session.

DEWALT Racing’s Dean Fiore continued to put in consistent laps throughout his practice session, before Pye completed the final practice of the day 10th fastest ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.

Qualifying saw a mid-session red flag period halt proceedings, before Pye and Winterbottom went out and set what would ultimately be their fastest times before a light rain shower curtailed anymore running.

Pye and Fiore will start The Great Race from 12th, in Pye’s best qualifying effort for the Bathurst 1000 since 2016, while Winterbottom and Golding will launch from 18th.

The IRWIN Racing and DEWALT Racing Commodores return to the track tomorrow for two further one-hour practice sessions, before the Top 10 Shootout will determine the grid from first to 10th ahead of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on Sunday.

Saturday’s action can be viewed live on Network 10, Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.

QUOTES

Scott Pye

driver #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore

"I’m pretty happy with qualifying," said Pye.

"We put a lot of effort during practice to focus on our race car, so to miss the shootout by less than a tenth of a second is a really promising result and it has put us in a good spot for Sunday.

"We were very close to the shootout and if we put more effort in to our one-lap speed that could have been different, but I certainly wouldn’t change our plan at all throughout practice so far.

"We have put us in a good spot for the race, we have plenty of laps for Dean, we have done more than any other car during practice so in terms of race pace we’re in a great position.

"I would have loved to have the track to myself for a couple of minutes, but the end goal hasn’t changed and that’s to finish well on Sunday, I think we’ve put us in a good position to do that."

Dean Fiore

co-driver #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore

"We tried some things overnight, but they didn’t work when we hit the track today, so it was a bit of a struggle for me in practice," said Fiore.

"It still helped with a setup direction, even though you can make a change and it doesn’t work, at least it becomes a known factor so as a result it steers us in the right direction as we improve our race car for Sunday.

"I still got some valuable laps under my belt, another session and a half tomorrow before the big race on Sunday.

"I’m happy with how it’s all progressing, right from the get-go we were focussed on our race car and weren’t too focussed on qualifying, so tomorrow will be business as usual for us."

Mark Winterbottom

driver, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

"We qualified 18th this afternoon for the big race," said Winterbottom.

"We went in the wrong direction with our setup and detuned it, but at least we have more answers as we work to fine tune the IRWIN Commodore into a strong race car.

"We have lots to work on through the practice tomorrow, but James [Golding] and I will continue to work with our engineers to find a better race car balance for Sunday."

James Golding

driver, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

"We definitely improved on yesterday, we tried a few changes but nothing really fixed the things we were trying to solve, but I definitely got a lot more out of myself as I continue to get used to the car.

"I’ve got another run tomorrow to get even more laps in before the big one on Sunday, which is the most important thing for to just get comfortable with turning lap after lap.

"Our feedback correlates pretty well between Frosty and I so that makes things easier for the engineers, and driving wise I can slot straight in without having to change much which is handy.

"It’s a long race so even though we didn’t qualify where we wanted to be, anything can happen so as long as we improve our race car that’s our aim as we build to Sunday."

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