Pye hopes resurfaced Perth retains key challenge

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 01/05/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam, Stefan Bartholomaeus

Mobil 1 MEGA Racing's Scott Pye hopes resurfacing work hasn't completely wiped the challenge of managing tyre degradation at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway.

The venue of this weekend's PIRTEK Perth SuperNight was resurfaced over the summer, for the first time since 2004.

PIRTEK Perth SuperNight | Tickets | Event info

Barbagallo has largely been characterised by its high-degradation nature, with grip levels diminishing year-on-year.

Quicker lap times, and potentially new lap records, are expected this weekend, but Pye is hopeful the new surface still lends itself to good racing.

"The track resurfacing is going to make things really interesting," Pye said.

"We don’t know what the degradation will be like, the track ambient will change from day to night, so there are a lot of variables to deal with.

"I hope the tyre degradation hasn’t gone away too much, because that was great for racing, but it’s going to be a totally different experience."

Running starts on Thursday evening with a 30-minute practice session, before races under lights on Friday and Saturday.

"The track itself is going to be very different to last year after the resurface so practice Thursday night will be really important," Pye's team-mate James Courtney added.

"There will be a lot to get our heads around early, but it should be a lot of fun, and look great for everyone at the track and at home."

Pye and Courtney were running fifth and seventh in last year's night race at Sydney Motorsport Park, before suffering suspension failures.

It was among the 2018 events Pye noted cooler conditions suited the Commodores, which have also been more competitive higher-grip surfaces.

Having struggled for consistency during the season to date, co-team principal Mathew Nilsson hopes this weekend will provide a change of fortunes.

"There’s no doubt that when the weather cools down we’re probably a bit more competitive, so that’s something we’re trying to understand,” he told Supercars.com.

"Heading into Perth it’s going to be another mix again, cooler conditions on a resurfaced track as well, and different weather conditions to what we had in August in Sydney.

"You don’t always pin-point it to every time it’s cold we’re going to be quick, it’s just, you’re always monitoring that stuff, as every team does, what the conditions are.

"Our reference at Perth is always in the day time, so if it was day time on a resurfaced track you’d have a good reference, but we’ve never seen how it goes at night."

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