Chris Pither of Palmerston North, or 'The Doctor' as he is known, took a clean sweep at the opening round of the 2009/2010 NZV8 Ute Series at the Taupo Motorsport Park this weekend
Twenty-two year old Pither qualified fastest before going on to take three wins from three races in his ENZED Falcon at the 3.5 kilometre circuit.
Pither was extremely pleased with his start to the series. "We couldn't have had a better weekend. The ENZED Falcon is nice and straight and it was pretty comfortable." 'The Doctor' was clinical in his approach, requiring just two laps to set the fastest time in qualifying to start the weekend with maximum points from that session. However the grid for the first race is established by marble draw and Pither drew the tenth spot to put himself well down the order for the opening 10 lap race on Saturday afternoon. He made light of his starting position however as he motored through the field to take the lead at the halfway point of the race before taking the chequered flag in first place.
The following day he gained a front row starting position for the second race of the round, a reverse grid of the opening race. That presented Chris and the ENZED Falcon with a golden opportunity and he sped off to his second win of the weekend. The two wins had 'The Doctor' and the ENZED Falcon on pole position for the finale and again he used the prime starting spot to good effect, racing to his third win of the round and a perfect start to the series.
To cap off his his dominant display Pither also set a new lap record for the circuit.
The only issue that the Cairns Motorsport Team encountered over the weekend was an intermittent misfire. It had been present during testing on Friday and then reappeared at various times over the weekend. However it did little to affect Pither's progress. He leaves the Taupo Motorsport Park tonight with maximum points in the series, 26 ahead of defending champion Caine Lobb of Whangarei.
Lobb collected two seconds and a third in the three races at this round to finish second overall with series rookie Simon Grace of Christchurch completing the podium.
Pither has spent much of his career in Australia where he has raced with distinction in V8 Utes, the V8 Development Series and V8 Supercars. He contested the final round of last years NZV8 Ute Series, finishing runner-up for the round after winning two of the four races on that occasion. Ironically this was Pither's first appearance at the new 3.5 kilometre layout at the Taupo Motorsport Park, the circuit having been extended since he last raced there.
Pither's efforts in the 2009/2010 NZV8 Ute Series are supported by ENZED, KDTraining.com and Cairns Bins.
Pither and the ENZED Falcon will contest Round 2 of the series at the "Thunder In The Park" meeting at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland over the weekend of 5/6 December.
NZV8 Utes Calendar 2009/2010:
Round 1: Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo - 23-25 October 2009 "V8 Attack"
Round 2: Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland - 4-6 December 2009 "Thunder In The Park"
Round 3: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Meremere - 5-7 February 2010 "TRS International"
Round 4: Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Ruapuna, Christchurch - 19 - 21 March 2010 "Powerbuilt Tools"
Round 5: Timaru International Motor Raceway, Levels, Timaru - 26-28 March 2010 "Truck & Ute Finals"