It’s official: Chris Pither is back on the full-time Supercars grid after a three-year hiatus.
Team Sydney boss Jonathon Webb confirmed the bubbly Kiwi will be behind the wheel of the #22 Holden for the entire 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Pither took an ARMOR ALL Pole Position in his lone previous solo season in 2016 but fell out of a regular seat when Super Black Racing closed following the death of team owner Tony Lentino.
After three years as a co-driver, the 33-year-old is back in a bigger and better capacity: in a Coca-Cola liveried ZB Commodore, as teammate to 2010 champion James Courtney, and as part of the long-awaited Team Sydney project.
“I’m definitely excited and just grateful for the opportunity,” Pither told Supercars.com at the BP Ultimate SuperTest in Tailem Bend.
“Obviously there was a whole lot going on in the background and for the team to be here now and presented the way they are is a great achievement by everyone involved.
“I think the ingredients here are fantastic and that’s part of the reason why I’m so excited.
“Overall it has got a good feel. It’s a family-owned team and everyone is doing it for the same reasons and that is to be the best we can be and get results, so I’m excited about that, and to have Coca-Cola and the rest of the partners on the car is amazing.
“I think the ingredients are there for a good year.”
With more experience and a Dunlop Super2 Series crown under his belt since his last main game season, Pither believes he has evolved as a driver and can’t wait to prove it at the Superloop Adelaide 500 starting this Thursday.
“You never stop learning in this game and for me I’ve grown since 2016,” he said.
“I feel good and I’m looking forward to getting stuck right into it.”
Webb noted Pither’s solo outings filling in for an injured Richie Stanaway at Garry Rogers Motorsport last year had caught his eye, and believes his experience will be vital for the former Tekno-branded team’s new era.
“A rookie was not something we were looking at, at all,” Webb told Supercars.com. “Been there, done that.
“I wanted someone who has got the miles, someone we know can put on a good show out of the gate, works well with the team, works well with sponsors and just is a really good overall package.
“I haven’t worked with Chris at all before but I’ve obviously done my homework on who he is and what he’s about, and I think he’ll fit exactly what I need.”
Pither’s first drive of his new car came just before 11am local time, as Team Sydney spent the morning prioritising procedures and ergonomics.