LAST year Scott Pye came within one second of a Bathurst 1000 podium, but if you think that rates as a Great Race highlight for him you would be wrong.
Instead his fifth placing – his best finish in the Mount Panorama endurance epic – rates as one of Pye’s great disappointments.
He feels that he and co-driver Tony D’Alberto should have stood on the podium instead of narrowly missing out, Pye claiming team politics cost them.
“Last year we should’ve been on the podium, but obviously I was leaving the team at the time. That meant the team I was at didn't give me priority at any point unfortunately,” Pye said.
“I had to just follow the safety car at one point, which really put us out of the race.
“We had a very fast car as well and I was lucky to get back near the front, but my feeling last year, it was obviously really disappointing for me.
“A fifth, it’s crazy to say that you’re disappointed with that, but myself and Tony, we had our hands tied all day.”
Since that disappointment last October, Pye has moved from DJR Team Penske to the HSV Racing Team.
With seven Bathurst 1000 victories to its credit, the Holden outfit knows what it takes to find success at Mount Panorama, so Pye is hoping to give the podium another crack.
He is paired with Warren Luff a two-time winner of the Enduro Cup - one of those victories coming for the Holden team alongside Garth Tander in 2015.
Following a 21st placing at Sandown, Pye heads to Bathurst sitting 18th in the drivers’ championship, one spot ahead of his team-mate James Courtney.
This year will mark his sixth appearance in the 1000, a race in which he has certainly endured mixed fortunes.
Three of his campaigns have resulted in DNFs – 2012 with Taz Douglas, 2014 with Ash Walsh and 2015 alongside Marcos Ambrose.
His fifth placing last year improved on his only other finish, a sixth with Paul Morris in 2013.
“It’s a place where I’ve had some big, big crashes there which hasn’t been so much fun, but at the same time, I've had some good results there as well,” Pye said.
“So I’m looking forward to getting back there and putting it somewhere near the front with Luffy.
“I think that coming into that race hopefully we can be somewhere near the front and at least be in the battle for a podium.
“It’s a long old day and anything can happen, but at the end of it, it would be nice to get some champagne for all our hard work.”
The opening 60-minute practice session for the Bathurst 1000 will be held from 9.45am on October 5.