TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR PITHER It was a tough day at the office for Palmerston North driver Chris Pither during Round 5 of the BNT V8s Championship at his home track on Sunday. The tough breaks had actually started the previous day when ...
TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR PITHER
It was a tough day at the office for Palmerston North driver Chris Pither during Round 5 of the BNT V8s Championship at his home track on Sunday.
The tough breaks had actually started the previous day when Pither was left stranded in 14th position on the grid for the first race of the round when rain arrived at the Manfeild circuit in Feilding before he could set a lap time on new tyres.
The following morning as the field snaked their way around the 3.03 kilometre circuit at the beginning of the first race Pither's New Balance Falcon became "the meat in the sandwich" when he was hit from behind at the hairpin. That pushed the Falcon into the car in front, damaging the bonnet which led to greater problems as the race progressed. As Chris explained later "the damage to the bonnet wrecked the seal to the air filter and that creates low pressure over the intake filter. That causes the engine to lose horsepower." That made the remaining laps difficult for Pither who brought the car home in seventeenth position.
The difficulties continued in the second race. Twice Chris was caught up as others spun in front of him, allowing a freight train of cars to pass the New Balance Falcon. Pither found himself at the back of the field and set about making up places. However with a lack of horsepower he was forever defending position, making progress difficult. The tough start to the day had Pither and the New Balance Falcon ideally placed on the grid for the final race, a reverse grid contest. However a bad vibration from the left front wheel during the warm up laps as Chris brought the car through 'Higgins' (the corner onto the back straight) convinced him to pit to check the problem.
"The crew had a quick look. It wasn't worth the risk. We gave up seventh place on the grid, it was frustrating. We couldn't find the problem. After that it went pretty good. I started from the pitlane and caught the pack pretty quickly. The car felt hooked up through the corners and we caught up to the quick guys." Pither certainly made great inroads, slicing through the field to 13th place at the finish.
While the BNT V8s Championship now moves to Taupo for the series finale in March Pither will instead return to action in the NZV8 Ute Series which he leads. The penultimate round of that series clashes with the Taupo event. However before then Chris will return to Australia where he has raced successfully for several seasons to compete in the Australian V8 Ute Series at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The Adelaide circuit has provided Chris with its share of racing success in the past.
-source: chris pither