Pither relieved after rollercoaster ride to Supercars return
Friday 21st January, 2022 - 4:13pm
Confirmation yesterday that Chris Pither will be on the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship grid full-time at PremiAir Racing was met with an overwhelming sense of relief.
When others might have thrown in the towel, the 35-year-old Kiwi has refused to give up on his Supercars dream.
Even when Tony Lentino’s passing in 2016 meant Super Black Racing shut down at the end of Pither’s first full-time season.
Even when he endured a rather painful 2020 at Team Sydney and then missed out on a primary drive altogether last year.
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And even when his 2022 options looked to have dried up, having come especially close to landing a seat at a potentially expanding Matt Stone Racing before it settled on two cars for Todd Hazelwood and Jack Le Brocq.
“It’s a big relief,” Pither told Speedcafe.com.
“It has been a work in progress for a long time. I did think it was done and dusted, all over, at the end of December but we managed to work it all out and get it happening again.
“So it has been a rollercoaster of emotions but I’m just rapt now to get it finalised and focused forward.”
PremiAir Racing offers him a new dawn with upgraded Triple Eight machinery and fresh investment from Peter Xiberras, who last week purchased what was formerly Team Sydney.
One of the genuine nice guys of the championship, Pither is confident the Xiberras-led era will be far brighter than the slim pickings enjoyed in recent years under Jonathon Webb’s watch.
“From my perspective, it’s completely new. The 2020 season had its challenges but ultimately this is a new team,” he said.
“We’re starting with a clean slate and that’s what I’m excited about; there’s absolutely no affiliation with the team’s predecessor, and Pete is very results-driven and I think he’s made that clear with what he has already done in a short period of time.
“That’s why I’m excited to drive for him; he’s motivated about getting results and I am as well.
“I’m going to grab the opportunity and aim high and we’ll be working hard throughout the year to try to move our way up the field.”
Pither’s team-mate at PremiAir Racing will be fellow Dunlop Super2 Series title winner Garry Jacobson.