Pye 'never shopped around' before re-signing with Team 18

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/09/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Scott Pye says he never considered going to another team ahead of signing a multi-year contract extension with Team 18.

The team confirmed Wednesday that Pye will remain with the Mount Waverley-based squad for 2022 and beyond.

Pye joined Charlie Schwerkolt’s operation in 2020; his new deal will make him a four-year Team 18 driver at the least.

Schwerkolt had previously indicated Pye’s re-signing was merely a formality, with Pye also publicly confirming he was happy to remain with the team.

"No, honestly I didn’t consider going anywhere else," Pye told Supercars.com.

"I like to think I’m very loyal and Charlie is very much the same.

"I think our goals align really well, so from the very first conversation I had with Charlie, I was excited to join the team, and the excitement to stay here has never changed.

"For me, it was a very simple decision, I never spoke to anyone else, I never shopped around.

"I love being here at Team 18, I love the group and I can see a bright future for everyone here, so I want to be a part of that."

Pye is in his second year with Team 18 and scored the team's first podium at Hidden Valley in 2020.

He backed it up with two more Darwin podiums and some remarkable charges in Townsville, before finishing sixth at the season-ending Bathurst 1000.

In July, the Adelaide-born driver recorded a season-best result of sixth at the last-start WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint.

The re-signing also ensures the experienced Pye, a veteran of 268 race starts, will lead the team into the Gen3 era.

The delay in re-signing came as both Pye and Team 18 boss Schwerkolt preferred a face-to-face meeting to get the new deal done.

However, ongoing COVID restrictions and state border closures have prevented the pair from completing a new deal in person.

Schwerkolt is currently in Darwin, with Pye in locked-down Melbourne.

"As most people would like to do deals face-to-face, it’s not how we have been able to do this one," Pye said.

"Our initial conversations were face-to-face but now obviously with how things have happened with the restrictions here in Victoria, it wasn’t possible.

"I was very lucky that the Ts and Cs were very easy to agree on, so we were able to just put pen to paper without too many hassles.

"In terms of the difficulty of it, it was an easy decision to make.

"Of course, it would have been nice to sit across the table from each other and put pen to paper, but the situation is what it is with restrictions at the moment.

"It did change things for both of us, and to put the rumours to rest, we just wanted to get it out there in the public.

"For me, I was very confident, and Charlie is as well, so we both wanted to be together into the future, so this really was a matter of solidifying it so we can move forward.

"I’m looking forward to getting up to Queensland, having a beer with him and discussing our future together."

Pye is 13th in the 2021 standings, and is just 67 points off 10th overall.

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