Pither disappointed after Waters, Johnson incident
Dunlop Super2 Series
By V8 Supercars
Chris Pither was left to rue the incident he was involved in with Cameron Waters and Steven Johnson, after it denied the Ice-Break Racing driver the chance for a podium finish at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400.
Off the back of his maiden race and round win in Townsville, Pither had qualified third ahead of the Dunlop Series' 29 lap haul around Queensland Raceway - his best qualifying result in the series.
The Kiwi gun managed to slip into second place on the opening lap before the first safety car of the chaotic Saturday race was deployed.
On the race restart, Waters' ENZED Falcon made contact with Pither and Johnson at turn four, which broke an oil cooler on Pither's Commodore and ignited a fire in the engine bay.
Despite no extensive damage to the V8 Supercar's wiring, Pither was left disappointed bywhat could have been another podium finish for the 27-year-old, which cost Waters a post-race 25 point penalty.
"We had a good run and in the first lap the tyres came up to temp quickly and had a good turn, which gave me a run on Cam in that opening lap, so to move to second place in that opening lap was great," he said.
"And then obviously we made contact at turn four after the safety car.
"To be honest when I had a look in the mirrors it seemed like he was a car length or two behind me, and then the next minute he was on my back bumper.
"I'm disappointed, but I don't think I could have done anything differently, but these things happen. We've had plenty of highs lately but today just wasn't our day."
Pither has encountered success in the first half of the 2014 series, consistently finishing inside the top ten at each round.
Although yesterday's DNF was a beating to his points, the ever-humble Pither remains optimistic in his titlehopes heading into today's final race, and the two remaining events on the calendar.
"The boys are working hard now to get the car back together and we'll be back [today] to try and salvage what we can," he said.
"Unfortunately with the format this weekend we don't get a life line with a second qualifying session for [today's] race.
"I'll just keep the same view I've had all year and focus on being in a position at Homebush to contend for a decent championship result, and I think we can still do that, we'll just keep looking long-term."
After yesterday's incident, Pither is fourth in the series standings. Ash Walsh continues to lead by eight.
The final race for the Dunlop Series at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 kicks off at 1.55pm AEST.