PITHER TAKES V8 UTE CHAMPIONSHIP IN STYLE Palmerston North driver Chris Pither 'The Doctor' sealed the 2009/2010 NZ V8 Utes Championship in great style at the Timaru International Motor Raceway this weekend. It was a convincing victory for...
PITHER TAKES V8 UTE CHAMPIONSHIP IN STYLE
Palmerston North driver Chris Pither 'The Doctor' sealed the 2009/2010 NZ V8 Utes Championship in great style at the Timaru International Motor Raceway this weekend.
It was a convincing victory for 'The Doctor' who used his ENZED Falcon to great effect scoring pole position in qualifying before going on to win three of the four races and placing second in the other.
Arriving at the final round with a 40 point lead over defending champion Caine Lobb, 'The Ginja Ninja', Pither won both of Saturday's races to extend his lead to 48 points overnight. On Sunday he started the reverse marble grid race from near the back of the grid. It was to be the race that sealed the NZV8 Utes title for the 23-year-old from Palmerston North. From ninth on the grid he took his opportunities, getting a good clean run through to second place behind Lobb. By the time the ENZED Falcon had worked its way through the traffic Lobb had established a gap. Pither closed in to be just .391 of a second behind at the finish. As he crossed the line 'The Doctor' became the 2009/2010 NZ V8 Utes Champion.
"I knew second or maybe even third was good enough for the championship," explained Chris later as he enjoyed the thrill of the championship win. "I'm pretty stoked. The guys put in a big effort and we had a flawless run. I'm rapt."
There was one more race to go and with no pressure Chris set off to enjoy a good race. "Caine beat me off the line again but I got past and took another win." 'The Doctor' wrapped up the championship in style winning by almost nine seconds.
As Chris charged to the championship the lap record at the Timaru circuit took a pounding. Pither lowered it on Saturday when he set a new mark of 1 minute 13.342 in the opening race of the round. On Sunday morning he improved that to 1 minute 13.149 and trimmed more from it on Sunday afternoon leaving the new mark at 1.13.129.
This was Pithers first full season on home soil for several years after he established himself as a top contender on the other side of the Tasman in a variety of machinery including V8 Utes and V8 Supercars.
With the title in his possession Chris will now contest the Trans-Tasman Ute race at the Hamilton 400 from 16-18 April.
-source: chris pither