VALE: BILL PYE
THE TOURING CAR MASTERS family is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our friend fellow competitor and great racer Bill Pye.
A staple of the TCM series for several years TCM understands that Bill was tragically killed in a light aircraft accident on his property near Coonamble in country New South Wales earlier this morning.
A committed part of the TCM family Bill began racing in the series driving a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and then a Porsche 911 before debuting his latest Camaro last year.
Showcasing his love of the sport Bill ran the latest car as a tribute to Bob JaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s iconic Orange Camaro that dominated the local racing scene in the early 1970s replicating the same livery as JaneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car on his TCM racer.
Bill was also heavily involved in the Group C & A Heritage Touring Cars series where he proudly raced one of Dick JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s old Greens Tuff Ford Mustangs from the 1985-86 Group A era.
Bill was a committed and competitive racer and was a fantastic part of the TCM paddock at every round.
He famously Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbeat the V8Ã¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in his Porsche 911 RS at the Muscle Car Masters round in 2013 his first race win in the series. Taking advantage of the reverse-grid race at Sydney Motorsport Park Pye rocketed to an early lead and then held out the otherwise dominant John Bowe in a fantastic battle for the lead.
The pair swapped positions four times before Pye edged out Bowe in a narrow finish.
It was a fantastic showcase of his ability behind the wheel and his willingness to fight for every position.
The victory in the Porsche was a nod to his massive success behind the wheel of the German marqueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cars Pye having tasted great success in Porsche Cup Marque Sports / Production Sports Car and GT3 Cup Challenge competition over the years.
BillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most recent Touring Car Masters round was ended early his Camaro heavily damaged in a crash in race two at Hidden Valley in Darwin.
But weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sure he wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve fought back and got the Orange Camaro running once again to ensure he could continue doing what he loved – racing.
He was a fighter on the track a great part of our paddock off it and he will be missed.
The Touring Car Masters management team on behalf of the broader TCM family offers their support and thoughts to the Pye family and their friends at this time.
TCM will engage with Heritage Touring Cars management and competitors prior to the upcoming Muscle Car Masters event this September at Sydney Motorsport Park with a view to offering a joint tribute to Bill that weekend.