SCOTT Pye might have worn a smile on his face on the podium at Mount Panorama the past two years after finishing as runner-up in the Bathurst 1000, but he also admits it "sucks a little bit".
Alongside Warren Luff, the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver placed second behind Dave Reynolds in 2017 then followed Craig Lowndes across the line last year.
Pye conceded his rivals had better cars those years and were deserved victors, but he still would have loved to have hoisted the Peter Brock Trophy over his head instead of the runners-up prize.
"I'm satisfied with my results there, it's been okay, but having finished second twice kinda sucks a little bit, you want to just go that one higher," he said.
"It's bitter-sweet, I feel like we have maximised our car the last two years and to come second was kind of what we had that day.
"To come away and feel like I could've won, should've won, I don't think it's fair to say that to the guys that won because we were beaten on merit the last two years. Hopefully this year, we can be the guys that win it on merit this time."
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Though acknowledging there are plenty of factors which go into a Bathurst 1000 success - such as a strong co-driver and well executed pit stops - Pye feels being able to sustain speed is the most critical.
He also admitted just how hard it is for a driver to keep peeling off fast laps as the race draws to a conclusion
"The last two stints last year the pace was insane, I remember looking up at the mirror and just wishing he'd get a cramp or something," Pye said.
"For us to be doing low sixes for like 30-40-50 laps in a row, takes it toll. [But] You've got to be able to do that to be there at the end and be quick.
"For us, leading into the event, we've got to look after ourselves and make sure we're in a position where we can do those sixes for 50 laps and get into the race and bring it home. But hopefully this year I can go that one step higher and get my name on the trophy.
"There's no other place like the mountain when you rock up there, it's a hard feeling to describe because we all rock up with the same hopes and dreams. We all bar one leave on Monday morning feeling somewhat unsatisfied, so you can have the highest expectations and hopes, but it can hit you pretty hard."