Pither eyes Championship

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/10/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke - Bruce Newton

Chris Pither believes he is ready to step up into the V8 Supercars Championship and confirmed he is speaking to a number of teams about drives for 2016.

The quick Kiwi, 28, is in demand given he has shown good pace in the Dunlop Series and Pirtek Enduro Cup, and has strong personal sponsorship behind him that is valuable to teams.

Currently fourth in the Dunlop Series standings, Pither is hopeful of locking down a deal in the next fortnight as the silly season reaches fever pitch after the announcement of DJR Team Penske's line-up for 2016 earlier this week.

Pit lane rumours have linked him with at least four teams, with Walkinshaw Racing, in the seat currently occupied by Tim Slade, or Super Black Racing, which is after a Kiwi for its V8 Supercar assault, two of the more prominent suggestions.

"I think there are a number of seats out there that haven't got names to them yet and I'm just talking to everybody," Pither told v8supercars.com.au.

"I'm just hoping between all of them there's suitable options and we can lock something in."

RECs (Racing Entitlement Contracts) for 2016 must be entered with V8 Supercars today, so locking in plans for next year is a high priority for many.

"For everyone, I think it's something they want to sort out sooner rather than later and move ahead with plans for next year - I'm sort of hoping over the next few weeks things might progress and we can lock something away," Pither said.

"I definitely don't have a seat or position I'm pushing for - there's a number of them out there and we're trying to just work out what's best for the team and for me as well."

Pither has good form in the Dunlop Series this year, earning his first race win at Queensland Raceway and putting in an impressive 23rd to third drive at Bathurst, avoiding disaster after a tap from series leader Cameron Waters coming into the Chase. He is a former V8 Utes Champion and finished fourth in the Dunlop Series in 2014.

"I'm definitely asking the question to find out what's around out there - I think I've spoken to my sponsors about it and told them my aim [to run in the Championship] from early on," Pither said.

"I've been fortunate enough to have support from Ice Break, Repco and Mack back from 2010 now, so we've got a great relationship and I think they're definitely keen to try and make that stick as well.

"So hopefully we can find something that works for everyone."

Steering with David Wall in the Wilson Security GRM Volvo S60 - which he also ran at the Australian Grand Prix when Wall was sidelined with a foot injury - Pither is confident the time is right to step up and mix it with the main game guys.

"I've obviously had a few years in the Dunlop Series and have grown in confidence, I guess, with that time and with the enduros I've done in the main championship.

"I'm confident I can make the step up now and be competitive and have a lot of fun at the same time ... my goal was always to be in the Championship and I think now is the time to do it."

Pither had four V8 Supercars starts in 2008 with Team Kiwi, and has been an endurance co-driver since 2013, firstly with Brad Jones Racing and now Volvo, both alongside Wall.

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