Scott Pye has stunned the V8 Supercars field to snatch pole position for the opening race at the Clipsal 500.
The No.17 Falcon has edged out Jamie Whincup by less than a tenth a second and will lead the field in Saturday’s first race of the season.
The pole is Pye’s first in 106 races in the category, and gives a first pole to DJR Team Penske since joining the series at last year’s Clipsal 500.
With new teammate Fabian Coulthard, Pye had endured an off-season in transition as his team expanded to field two cars this year.
The hard work appears to have paid off, with the Roger Penske-backed outfit looking set to compete hard in 2016.
Pye’s garage were euphoric at the result, and the 26-year-old pumped his fists to the Adelaide crowd on Friday after climbing from his Falcon.
“It’s a big relief after a massive off-season,” he said.
This time 12 months ago, DJR Team Penske debuted returning champion Marcos Ambrose in the No.17 Falcon but the Tasmanian didn’t last another race before giving up his drive to Pye.
Team president Tim Cindric said it was a reward for the hard work of both the driver and his engineering team.
“It’s a great start for the season … obviously, we have a lot of work to do,” he said.
“It shows we’re in a better place than we started last year and, hopefully, we can build on it.”
The second row of the grid will be filled by Scott McLaughlin, who was quickest in both practice sessions on Friday, with series champion Mark Winterbottom fourth.