Motorsport: Team Penske risk disharmony with driver speculation

Scott Pye drives the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FGX at Phillip Island. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Pye drives the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FGX at Phillip Island. Photo / Getty Images

DJR Team Penske might have enjoyed their best weekend of the V8 Supercars season on Phillip Island, but one legend of the sport is worried for team harmony.

Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Russell Ingall suspects the emerging team is heading for choppy waters due to speculation around their drivers for next season.

Scott McLaughlin, who took two pole positions and two race wins on the Island, has been heavily linked with a move to the team in 2017.

Some believe the 22-year-old has already agreed to a move, a point the driver has repeatedly denied.

A move would mean either an extraordinary expansion to a three-garage team, or the removal of off-contract driver Scott Pye.

Ingall believes the speculation will hurt Pye, 26, who joined DJR prior to the big-money arrival of Team Penske.

The former series champion went even further, hypothesising the talk could have been planted from within the team in an attempt to motivate Pye.

In Ingall's view, it would be crazy.

"It's a real distraction, this talk," he told Inside Supercars.

"I don't know where it's come from. I really hope it hasn't come internally from the team.

"The last thing you want to do is worry about your drive.

"It could actually be harmful.

"I really feel for him because I think he's a good young steerer and I don't think it's timely."

Pye and new DJR Team Penske recruit Fabian Coulthard scored a podium finish each on Phillip Island.

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