PITHER ROCKETS INTO NZV8s It may have been Chris Pither's first day in the BNT V8s Championship but he made a very impressive debut at the Timaru International Motor Raceway today. In his first appearance in the category the 22-year-old...
PITHER ROCKETS INTO NZV8s
It may have been Chris Pither's first day in the BNT V8s Championship but he made a very impressive debut at the Timaru International Motor Raceway today.
In his first appearance in the category the 22-year-old cracked the hotly contested top ten in qualifying and he will start the New Balance Falcon from 8th on the grid in tomorrow's first race. After only a handful of familiarisation laps at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch on Thursday the young Palmerston North driver was immediately on the pace at Timaru.
Rain fell early in the day and the first test session was held on a wet track. Pither belied his lack of time in the car setting the third fastest time, just .161 of a second off the fastest lap. The second period of testing was held in dry condititons and Chris was twelfth fastest while the Autotek Team concentrated on changes to improve the car.
Next up was the all important qualifying period and Chris was in the frame throughout, setting the 6th fastest time in both the first and second segments. That put Chris and the New Balance Falcon into the top ten shootout where he went onto record the 8th fastest lap.
Pither, the current leader of the NZV8 Utes Series who has spent much of recent career racing successfully across the Tasman in the Australian V8 Ute Series, the V8 Development Series and the V8 Supercar Championship, was pretty happy with his days work.
"My first aim was to make the top ten shootout. We did that so I'm happy. We made quite a few changes to improve the car throughout the dry test session and the qualifying periods. In the shootout I was not aggressive enough and that cost me a bit." Looking ahead to tomorrow's three races Pither says, "we will try for a clean run in race one and two and then see where that leaves us for the reverse grid race. A good clean weekend will be the key to a result."
Tomorrow's first race over 12 laps commences at 10.05am while the second, also of 12 laps duration, is timed to start at 1.00pm. The final race, a reverse grid event over 22 laps, is scheduled for 4.20pm.
Pither's efforts this weekend are supported by New Balance, Powerbuilt, Murphy Buses, Design Autotek and Sonata Lounge Suites.
-source: autotek & cairns motorsport