SCOTT Pye and Warren Luff showed that staying out of trouble is often the key to a strong Bathurst 1000 finish after their trouble free run to the runner-up spot on Sunday.
The Walkinshaw Racing pair kept clear of an incident-packed final hour of racing to climb from their starting position of 15th to second place.
Sandown didn’t deliver the goods for Pye and Luff. They finished 21st in the opening Enduro Cup race.
However, Bathurst was a different story.
Driver and car didn’t put a step wrong in the testing conditions as Pye picked up his first podium of the Supercars season.
Luff, the only co-driver to start behind the wheel in Sunday’s race, got the Walkinshaw Commodore inside the top 10 before the first round of pit stops were being taken.
The car looked strong in the wet weather and Pye had the team sitting inside the top five approaching the halfway mark of the race.
Pye was sitting fifth coming into final 20 laps of the race. He got bumped up to third when Shane Van Gisbergen and Garth Tander ran off the track at a race restart.
He gained another place when he got by Nick Percat on lap 147.
After the final race restart Pye wasn’t able to catch eventual winner David Reynolds in the six-lap dash to the line.
Pye held off Fabian Coulthard for second, in a repeat of last year’s battle for fifth place.
“The conditions were crazy and full credit to Luffy because he did a mega job in that first stint, getting us up from 20th to 10th. That sets up your day early,” Pye said.
“A couple of safety cars didn’t work in our favour but then a couple did. That’s what Bathurst is about. You’ve just got to keep looking forward and try and stay positive.
“At the restart when [Van Gisbergen and Tander] slid off on the last corner that was pretty crazy. It was just a crazy race. It’s about those last 30 to 40 laps, and that’s when this race really kicked off.
“It was a good race and there was a bit of deja vu from last year racing against Fabs at the end there.”