PITHER FIGHTS BACK IN UTE SERIES
Chris Pither 'The Gypsy' continues to fight back in the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge after taking two wins from three races at Round 4 at the Timaru International Raceway last weekend.
Pither arrived in Timaru looking for as many points as possible to bridge the gap to Caine Lobb and Simon Beirne who currently lead him in the series points.
Again he was very quick throughout the entire weekend. However a snapped axle in the opening race of the round again robbed him of much needed points, an all too familiar story this season. The axle problem meant he could only cruise to the finish of that race crossing the line in twelfth place for a lowly points haul, the last thing the defending champion needs.
If not for that it could have been a perfect weekend. Pither had been the fastest in every test session and in qualifying and once his axle problem from Saturdays race was repaired he went out and won both of Sundays races and took away a new lap record for good measure.
Sunday mornings race saw Chris drive to a comfortable win in the Gallagher XR8 Falcon with a new lap record of 1 minute 13.228 seconds in the bag. The afternoon race was a much more hardfought affair with the two most recent champions of the class Pither and Lobb going at it hammer and tongs at the front with Simon Beirne latching onto the battle as well. Eventually 'The Gypsy' came out on top, his points tally from qualifying and the three races good enough to gain him second place overall behind Lobb for the round. However once again a problem in one of the races had proved very costly.
"We are still plenty fast enough," said Chris on his return to his New Zealand base in Palmerston North. "In all but the first race we were either quickest or we won. We just needed it all to hold together. It is pretty difficult. We have had so much bad luck. The problem in race one was frustrating as it cost us a pretty decent chunk of points on Caine" (Lobb). We are never going to give up though - there are still three rounds to go."
After four rounds of the series Chris is still third in the standings 142 points behind Lobb who leads the championship and 38 behind Beirne in second place.
The next round is at the Queensland based Pithers home circuit, Manfeild Park in Feilding from 11-13 February.
-source: cp PR