PITHER DOMINATES THE DAY
Defending champion Chris Pither expressed relief after dominating proceedings during the opening day of Round 3 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at Teretonga Park in Invercargill today.
As he has done at every round to date Pither 'The Gypsy" set the pace in qualifying in his Gallagher XR8 Falcon, recording a time .669 of a second faster than second qualifier Simon Beirne. However unlike the two opening rounds of the series Pither managed to avoid any problems in the first race of the round this afternoon. He gained maximum points for his qualifying effort and then drew marble number four to give him a second row starting position for the opening 8 lap race later in the day.
Chris quickly made his way into the lead when the lights went out to commence the battle and retained his position at the head of the field throughout the race distance. A safety car period midway through the race closed the field up briefly but once racing resumed the Gallagher XR8 Falcon quickly opened a gap again, crossing the line 3.925 seconds ahead of Graham Beirne.
In the process Pither set the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1 minute 09.906 seconds.
It was a happy scene in the pits after the race after so much bad luck at both the previous rounds. "That was the best race one of the season for me. It is a relief to do this and put together a good qualifying and first race." Reflecting on a day which hopefully saw his fortunes turn after a frustrating start to his campaign Pither revealed that his right front tyre was losing air during qualifying. "We set the quickest time despite the tyre problem so the speed is really good. The Gallagher XR8 Falcon is comfortable and consistent."
Tomorrow 'The Gypsy' will start the second race of the round from twelfth position on the grid due to the series reverse grid format based on todays starting positions. That race, again over 8 laps, is timed to start at 11.10am with the final race scheduled for 2.50pm tomorrow afternoon.
-source: cairns motorsport