Chris Pither will take over Andre Heimgartner’s Super Black Racing seat at Phillip Island this weekend.
The switch comes as SBR looks to lock down its lead driver for 2016, with Pither one of the lead candidates for the drive.
“We are using Phillip Island to evaluate Chris for next season so we look forward to seeing how he settles in,” said SBR owner Tony Lentino.
“He has experience, is passionate and understands the V8 Supercars landscape well, plus he is a Kiwi too which is obviously an important factor when selecting a driver for New Zealand’s only V8 Supercars team.”
According to Lentino, Heimgartner accepts the decision to give Pither the drive for the weekend is the right one.
“Andre Heimgartner will sit out this weekend and while we understand this has been a difficult situation for him, he has accepted it and both parties agree this change is in the team’s best interest,” added Lentino.
“It’s hard being a rookie in this game and being with a rookie team has added to the challenge this year. This isn’t necessarily the end of our partnership but we’ll get through Phillip Island and evaluate things from there.”
Pither, meanwhile, says he will be looking to grasp this opportunity ahead of potentially stepping into the main game next season.
“I’d like to thank Tony and the team at Super Black Racing for giving me the opportunity to race at Phillip Island,” Pither said.
“It is a genuine opportunity for me to show what I can do and to learn about the team as we look at the potential to work together in 2016.
“Obviously stepping in this late in the season won’t be easy but to have the resources of Prodrive Racing behind me will certainly make it easier. I have been driving the ex-Prodrive Ice Break Racing Falcon [in the development series] all year, which I will still drive at Homebush, so I know they build a good car.
“To get a drive in the V8 Supercars Championship is special and as a Kiwi, to do so with New Zealand’s only team makes it even better.”
Pither comes in as not only a front-runner in the second-tier development series, but having driven for Volvo alongside David Wall at the three endurance races.
This is the second driver switch in as many days, after Erebus decided to replace Ash Walsh with Dean Canto for this weekend yesterday.