Penske focussed on form, not driver decision

Penske focussed on form, not driver decision
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Apr 22, 2016, 4:40 AM

DJR Team Penske boss Ryan Story says the squad won’t make any firm decisions on its driver line-up before it feels it is delivering a strong car week in, week out.

Podium: third place Scott Pye, Team Penske Ford
Scott Pye, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Scott Pye, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Scott Pye, Team Penske Ford
Scott Pye, Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Podium: winner Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo

The team has been dragged into the early silly season speculation as a potential home for out-of-contract star Scott McLaughlin.

While new signing Fabian Coulthard is safe for 2017, the McLaughlin speculation means Scott Pye’s spot in the team could be under threat.

But that’s not something Pye should be concerned about in the short-term, according to the team’s managing director Ryan Story. He says that until the team is consistently giving both Pye and Coulthard a front-running car, no firm decisions will be made about signing a new driver for next season.

“Realistically speaking, our focus is on making the most of the guys we have,” Story told

“As I’ve said a couple of times, particularly since Tasmania as we didn’t have a strong event there, for us to really assess where we are, we have to be giving both our guys a good package, a good car, and we’re not doing that yet.

“We have to get that side of it right.

“We’re more than confident in both Scott and Fabian’s ability to get the job done. The thing with Scott, it’s easy to forget the strength of his performances, particularly in the latter parts of last year. He did a terrific job.

“Again, we know if we give him the car he can do the job. We just have to give him the car.”

Pye consistency crucial

While the team continues its search for consistency, it has also called on Pye to do the same. According to Story, the young South Australian’s next challenge is performing at his best – such as his drive to third place at Phillip Island last Sunday – all of the time.

“Want we’re looking for out of Scott is to see him really make the most out of what he’s got underneath him every time he’s in the car,” added Story.

“I think that’s what a lot of these strong, experienced guys do – even if the car’s not quite right, they can pull a lap out of it. That’s an experience thing, and it’s also a confidence thing. He’s got to be confident in what’s underneath him even if it’s not quite right. He’s got to play to his strengths, as they say.

“With an engineer like Adam De Borre alongside him, a guy with tremendous experience, he’ll help mould Scott into the driver that he can end up being. There is no doubt about that. I think they’re a really good cohesive group. That will continue to bear fruit for us as we see out the year.”

And what about McLaughlin?

For out-of-contract Mclaughlin, a DJR Team Penske future could make a lot of sense – and vice versa. But that’s not something Story is prepared to be pushed on right now.

“It’s a similar situation to last year [with Fabian Coulthard], in that there’s always going to be speculation – and [the online media] have to look for page views, and the print media has to look for circulation,” said Story.

“So the reality is that the guys that are out of contract are always going to cause speculation and talk about these kind of things.”

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Fabian Coulthard , Scott Pye , Scott McLaughlin
Teams Team Penske
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Article type Breaking news