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2016 Clipsal 500 Adelaide: Scott Pye to start opening race from polePhotos

2016 Clipsal 500 Adelaide: Scott Pye to start opening race from pole | Photos Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race two after qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES
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Jason Bright drives the #8 Team BOC Holden during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race two after qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Mark Winterbottom drives the #1 The Bottle-O Racing Ford during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Chaz Mostert drives the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Craig Lowndes, driver of the #888 Team Vortex Holden, sits in his car prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Craig Lowndes drives the #888 Team Vortex Holden during qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Chaz Mostert drives the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Scott McLaughlin, driver of the #33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo, sits in his car prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Jamie Whincup, driver of the #88 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden, prepares for qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Craig Lowndes, driver of the #888 Team Vortex Holden, speaks with his engineer Ludo Lacroix after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, is seen prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott McLaughlin, driver of the #33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo, is seen after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

TweetFacebookScott 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.

The Sydney Morning Herald

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