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Mount Panorama
Tuesday, May 28, 2024


CHRIS Pither will reunite with respected engineer Ken Douglas for the Sandown SuperSprint this weekend.

Pither has teamed up with Geoffrey Slater the past two events, but the 24 Hours of Daytona-winning engineer will miss Round 9 of the Repco Supercars Championship due to a prior commitment.

That has led PremiAir Racing to re-engage Douglas, who started the year on the #22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore before resuming his other motorsport duties.

Former Matt Stone Racing employee Sheldon Auhl took the lead on Pither’s car from Round 4 at Perth. He then switched to mid-season recruit James Golding when Slater came onboard alongside Pither.

Slater is expected to return for PremiAir’s maiden trip across the ditch next month in what will be Supercars’ Pukekohe Park Raceway swansong.

In the meantime, Douglas will be guiding 2018 Super2 Series winner Pither at Sandown – a circuit renowned for being a stronghold for Triple Eight Race Engineering machinery.

Douglas’ pedigree includes a stint with MoTec, being Stone Brothers Racing’s technical director during its championship trifecta, and a prolonged tenure as an engineering consultant at Triple Eight.

Buoyed by a season-best 12th at The Bend, Pither is keen to make further inroads.

“We head to Sandown off the back of a productive test day where we experimented with different changes, got lots of data and went away with some changes that will take us into this weekend with momentum and a better understanding of the car,” he said.

Peter Xiberras and Chris Pither in discussion. Pic: Rhys Vandersyde/InSyde Media

“The guys and girls continue to work hard behind the scenes. We are only halfway through the season as a new team, and we are improving as a group each round.

“We are gaining momentum and having experienced engineer Geoff Slater for the last couple rounds has been beneficial.

“Unfortunately, he won’t be here this weekend, but I am pleased to have Ken Douglas return as we also have a good relationship, he is a professional and we’ll get stuck in.

“This weekend will be the first time I’ve raced in the main game at Sandown as a primary driver since 2016 with Super Black.

“The circuit is fast flowing with long runs down a couple of straights with fast esses, and given that we’ll most certainly get some rain, there should be lots of fun and carnage – hopefully we stay out of trouble!

“What will also be great is that I won’t just have my sponsor Coca-Cola here with me this weekend – my parents are also going to be trackside from New Zealand! They haven’t been able to see me race since COVID started, so that will be pretty cool.”

Pither sits 21st in the championship, ahead of three other drivers to have contested every event this season: Tickford Racing’s Jake Kostecki and Thomas Randle, and Jack Smith of Brad Jones Racing.

LISTEN: Get the latest ahead of Sandown on the Castrol Motorsport News Podcast

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