Walkinshaw confirms Pye, Courtney for 2017

Scott Pye will join James Courtney at Walkinshaw Racing for the 2017 Supercars season, leaving Garth Tander on the hunt for a new drive.

Walkinshaw confirms Pye, Courtney for 2017
James Courtney and Jack Perkins, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Scott Pye, DJR Team Penske
Scott Pye and Tony D’alberto, DJR Team Penske
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team

Courtney will remain with the team next for the next three years despite it losing its Holden factory status. But he will be the only part of the current high-profile, and understood to be high salaried, driver line-up. Sandown 500 winner Tander will make way for outgoing DJR Team Penske driver Pye, who has been given a “multi-year deal” alongside Courtney.

For Courtney, remaining with the Walkinshaw set-up and avoiding the temptation of heading back to the Super GT series in Japan is all about unfinished business.

“When I first came to Walkinshaw Racing I set myself the goal to win another championship with this team and I’m even more determined now to achieve that,” he said.

“Everyone in the team, from engineering staff to management and commercial, have all put a ridiculous amount of effort into preparing my car and giving me the opportunity to win races.

“I’ve also put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this team and would hate it if I walked away from here and someone else rolled in and started getting all the success we have worked so hard for.

“I certainly believe it’s possible to win another championship here. If I didn’t think that, then I wouldn’t still be here – I’m as loyal, committed and enthusiastic about the future of the team as I have ever been.”

Pye, who will be replaced at DJR Team Penske by Scott McLaughlin for the 2017 season, said the decision to join Walkinshaw Racing was a no-brainer, particularly with the security of a multi-year deal.

“When the opportunity came up to sign with Walkinshaw Racing it’s something I didn’t have to think too long about,” said Pye.

“Since joining the championship in 2012 I haven’t really had any real continuity and I’m excited about having the next three years locked away and knowing that I will be working with the same group of people.

“It’s a team that has proven what they are capable of and even this year there has been some tough times, but the way they have turned it around has been impressive.”

Team owner Ryan Walkinshaw, meanwhile,paid tribute to the outgoing Tander.

“Garth was our longest ever serving driver and achieved an incredible amount of success for the team including 50 race wins, 26 pole positions, 72 podiums, two Bathurst wins and a championship,” said Walkinshaw.

“He will always be considered a brother to the Walkinshaw family and we wish him the very best of luck with his future.”

Tander has been linked to a return to Garry Rogers Motorsport, as a replacement for the Penske-bound McLaughlin.

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