Pither hopeful of Sydney stay but considering options

Chris Pither

Chris Pither is eager for a second season with Team Sydney but, without being locked in yet for 2021, is looking at his options.

The 2018 Super2 series winner was a last-minute addition to the squad formerly known as Tekno Autosports, which Alex Davison joined at Event 2 of the campaign to fill the vacancy created by James Courtney’s departure.

Team Sydney owner Jonathon Webb has expressed a desire for consistency within the squad as it moves into the second year of its new incarnation, after a tumultuous Supercars Championship season in general.

Pither, whose best results in 2020 were a fifth at Hidden Valley and an 11th at Townsville in a Coca-Cola-backed ZB Commodore, expected to be part of those plans, although he is considering his options in case.

“Jono was keen to continue and said consistency would be key, and I completely agree with that,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“It was really late for everything to come together and this year was definitively a building year.

“We all know how competitive the championship is, so consistency’s important.

“You see lots of drivers in the championship that have that consistency and they grow the relationships with engineers and the like, to gradually make gains, and I think that would be the case with Team Sydney as well.

“As it grows, it will improve, so I was led to believe that was the plan going forward; to have as much consistency as possible in terms of the crew and the drivers.

“But there’s no confirmation yet and it seems like things are moving quickly, so without the confirmation, I’ve got try and find a home.

“I’m fortunate that I have a great brand onboard too with Coca-Cola and they enjoyed the year and they’re keen to continue with me.”

Pither has shown flashes of form through his Supercars career, but has thus far only had two full seasons in the top tier of the category.

The first of those, in 2016, saw the then 29-year-old claim pole position at Queensland Raceway in the Tickford-run Super Black Racing car, but the entry was sold at year-end.

He partnered Dale Wood to fourth in the following year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 before taking sixth in the Great Race with Garth Tander in 2018, and clinching Garry Rogers Motorsport’s first Supercars title, in Super2, weeks later.

Pither was last year one of the injury replacements for Richie Stanaway, whom he would then drive with in the Pirtek Enduro Cup, before GRM left the category.

“I also feel that I’ve got some unfinished business in the main championship,” added the New Zealander.

“I haven’t been able to show my full potential consistently yet.

“When I say that, I’m referring to glimpses of my potential, which would have been the pole position at QR and the odd result.

“To be honest, I was really happy with the season, 2016, looking back on it now, and at times this year too we’ve had those glimpses, but it wasn’t consistent enough.

“So, I want to keep growing myself and I’ll fight hard to try and be out there again next year and keep moving forward, because I do feel I have unfinished business.”

Pither ended the year with a 16th alongside Steve Owen in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and 20th in the standings.

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