FRUSTRATING PATTERN CONTINUES FOR PITHER
After a brilliant start to Round 4 of the ENZED V8 Ute Challenge at Timaru International Raceway today a familiar pattern emerged to leave the defending champion Chris Pither extremely frustrated by the end of proceedings.
Once again everything had gone perfectly for Chris and the Gallagher XR8 Falcon throughout testing at the challenging 2.4 kilometre circuit on Thursday and Friday as they topped the timesheets in every session. Into qualifying this morning and Pither "The Gypsy" recorded a time of 1 minute 12.429 seconds around the tight, twisty layout at Levels on the outskirts of Timaru. The time was .840 of a second quicker than championship leader Caine Lobb's best lap, a strong indication that a successful weekend lay ahead.
However as the competitors completed their warm-up lap for Saturday afternoons 8 lap race the Gallagher XR8 Falcon snapped an axle. The Australian based kiwi steered the ute back to the pits and once the rest of the pack got underway joined the fray from the pitlane. From then on Chris nursed the stricken ute to the finish to gain as many points as possible. He eventually crossed the line in twelfth place.
The disappointment was clearly evident at the conclusion of the race. "That is the third time this year where we have qualified fastest and then had it all blow up when it counts. We were comfortably fastest early on. It is frustrating. We have the best team and I am driving better than ever. It's disappointing!"
Pither has qualified fastest at every circuit but only at Teretonga last weekend has he been able to enjoy a troublefree run in the first of the three races that constitute each round.
The speed has been evident at every track but luck has continually eluded him.
Tomorrow morning Chris and the Gallagher XR8 Falcon will look to fight back when they take to the track at 10.25am for another 8 lap event while the final race of the weekend over 12 laps is timed to start at 2.00pm.
Support for Chris in his ENZED V8 Ute Challenge title defence comes from the Gallagher Group, ENZED, KDTraining.com, Cairns Bins and Maldon Salt.