Injured V8s driver Pye tops practice

Ford driver Scott Pye has overcome a painful broken rib to post the fastest lap in opening practice at the Gold Coast V8 Supercars event.

Pye, who broke his rib in a heavy collision with a wall at Mount Panorama during the Bathurst 1000 earlier this month, clocked a one minute and 11.7073 second lap on the 2.98km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

The Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske driver finished ahead of Holden’s Lee Holdsworth (1:11.7472) and Tim Slade (1:11.8619).

Pye said, despite the fast run, he had battled with some pain during the 30-minute session before handing over to co-driver Marcos Ambrose for the final four minutes of the session.

“Pretty tender,” Pye said.

“It’s just a matter of how bad you want something sometimes and I want it pretty bad.

“I’ll let Marcos have a good run today and see how I feel.”

Holden star Jamie Whincup was the early leader as he aimed to put his Bathurst nightmare behind him but a spin on the back chicane ended his session early.

Whincup, who eventually finished fifth on the timesheets, did get his Commodore back to the pits where it will be repaired in time for the second session of the day which is solely for the teams’ co-drivers.

“I just clipped the rear on the wall,” Whincup said.

“Generally these things are pretty bullet-proof but it’s bent an arm on the rear.

“We’ll replace it and PD (co-driver Paul Dumbrell) will go out in the next session.”

Championship leader Mark Winterbottom clocked the seventh-quickest lap on the slower hard compound tyre while Bathurst winner and main championship rival Craig Lowndes was the 16th-fastest driver.

Holden’s James Courtney completed his first hit out since suffering a severe injury in the Sydney Motorsport Park event in August, finishing 13th fastest in the session.

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