PITHER PURSUES POINTS Defending ENZED V8 Ute Champion Chris Pither is looking forward to the challenges ahead of him at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch this weekend. Pither, 'The Gypsy', was the dominant driver in last year's ...
PITHER PURSUES POINTS
Defending ENZED V8 Ute Champion Chris Pither is looking forward to the challenges ahead of him at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch this weekend.
Pither, 'The Gypsy', was the dominant driver in last year's championship but he had little luck as he began his title defence at Pukekohe earlier this month. The Australian based kiwi suffered a series of problems after being the fastest qualifier in his Gallagher XR8 Falcon and arrives in Christchurch this weekend fourth in the championship.
While the problems he encountered at Pukekohe detracted from his points haul one thing was clear - Pither and the Gallagher XR8 Falcon possess plenty of pace. "I'm pretty confident of our speed," said 'The Gypsy' as he looked ahead to the second round of the championship this week. "We had speed at Pukekohe and also here at Powerbuilt Raceway last year. I just need to stay out of trouble and gain some points to bridge the gap."
There is little doubt that given a good run this time out that is exactly what Chris is capable of doing. He was quick at the challenging 3.3 kilometre circuit on the outskirts of Christchurch last year only for a slight miscalculation with fuel to cost him the last race and the round win. "It's a cool track, a drivers track - very technical and challenging with good passing opportunities," he says.
One of the big talking points of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge this weekend could be the parity changes made available to the Holdens. Chris is probably the driver best placed to give his thoughts on the upgrades as he drove a Holden in the equivalent Australian Series this year where the same changes were also implemented. "The first round I drove in Australia was prior to the changes that are being made here this weekend so I have experienced the difference. I know what the Holden was like both before and after. I think it will be very close (between the Holdens and Fords) speed wise. I know from the changes they made in Australia they had it fairly well sussed."
The ENZED V8 Ute Challenge competitors are on track at 9.15am on Saturday morning for qualifying before their first race at 2.15pm that afternoon. That race is based on a marble draw grid and is contested over 8 laps. The following day the field will line up on the grid in the reverse order from the day before for another 8 lapper at 10.45am. The final race of the round, over 12 laps at 2.10pm on Sunday, sees the field start in the order of the number of points scored at the round to that point.
Support for Chris in his ENZED V8 Challenge title defence comes from the Gallagher Group, ENZED, KDTraining.com, Cairns Bins and Maldon Salt.
Coverage of the round will be shown on TV3 on Sunday afternoon where edited highlights of race one can be seen along with delayed coverage of race two. The third and final race along with the previous two can be seen on The Motorsport Show the following Sunday.
-source: Chris Pither