With a break between Winton and Darwin, supercars.com is analysing the drivers’ results and performances in this first part of the season. The racing is the closest in history, with nine different winners in 11 races.
Chris Pither, Ice Break Racing Engineer: Dilan Talabani
Average qualifying position: 16.8 Average finishing position: 18.7 Championship position: 24 Points to leader: 668 Wins: 0 Pole positions: 0
Best result: Saturday Perth, eighth place
Pither held onto eighth position after qualifying there and was the best performing Prodrive car in the race. He backed up with a fourth place qualifying effort on Sunday.
Low point: Sunday Tasmania, 26th
After an accident at the Clipsal 500 and slipping into a chassis raced in the Dunlop Series for Tassie, Pither crashed again, damaging his second car in two rounds. Prodrive boss Tim Edwards admitted the repair work meant the team was unable to get champion Mark Winterbottom’s new car finished its planned debut.
For: Has been able to qualify and race in the top 10, ahead of his teammates – and says the standard is different up there.
Against: The mistakes at the start of the year were costly – not only the repairs, but the effect on the team’s schedule.
Pither declared he would keep the momentum after Perth, but slipped back into obscurity at Winton finishing 18th in both races.
The team: While the car is run as part of the Prodrive stable, the team is a separate entity and makes its own decisions on many fronts, including picking up co-driver Richie Stanaway. It has also shown it is ruthless, ejecting Andre Heimgartner last year before the end of the season to take on cashed up Pither.
Rating: D+ Needs to back up Perth – marked down for early season smashes.