Pither auditions for enduro seat with AGP drive
Chris Pither hopes that a solid performance substituting for David Wall at Albert Park this weekend will help secure a Pirtek Enduro Cup seat with the factory Volvo squad.
The 28-year-old steps into the #34 Volvo for the Australian Grand Prix meeting while Wall recovers from a burn endured on his big toe at the recent Clipsal 500.
Wall’s misfortune has created Pither’s first solo V8 Supercars event chance in almost seven years.
Pither drove two events in Team Kiwi Racing’s Ford during 2008, which followed a one-off start in the squad’s Holden two years earlier.
The Kiwi has competed in the last three endurance campaigns with Brad Jones Racing but is closing on a deal with the Volvo team this year.
“I have been in talks with them (GRM) regarding enduros and this is certainly a step in the right direction,” Pither told Speedcafe.com.
“I’d love to join them for the enduros and if we can have a positive run it should help my chances.”
Already at Albert Park to take part in Wednesday’s annual driver coaching activities with AMG customers, Pither only learnt of Wall’s injury and unavailability this afternoon (Tuesday).
Now organising to freight his race gear down from his Sydney home, Pither will link-up with GRM at the circuit tomorrow before first practice on Thursday morning.
“I’ve raced a couple of times at Albert Park in Formula Ford and Utes but never in a Supercar, so it’s going to be a steep learning curve when we hit the track on Thursday,” he said.
“It’s obviously a very competitive field so I won’t go into the weekend with any preconceived ideas, but I’m just looking forward to the challenge of stepping up.
“I’ll have a crack and if we can snare a top 15 position I’ll be happy with that, but I won’t be taking any unnecessary risks.
“It’s a good fit for me because I’ve driven with David in the past (at BJR), so in terms of seat position and set-up I’ve already got an idea of how he likes the car,” he added.
“Hopefully that’ll make the learning process a little bit easier.”
Pither competes full-time in the Dunlop Series for MW Motorsport, finishing third in the opening race of the season at the Clipsal 500.
He left Adelaide seventh in the points standings after a momentarily stuck throttle led to an off-track excursion in the second heat.