Pither gunning for spot in Australia GT Championship
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New Zealander Chris Pither hopes that this weekend's Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour could help springboard him into a seat in the upcoming 2017 Australian GT Championship.
"At the end of the day, I just want to stay in the seat and keep driving racing cars, and hopefully put something together where I can be in contention for a championship. And I think GT3 is definitely something that I'd be keen to be more involved with," Pither told herald.co.nz.
"That's a lot of the reason behind getting involved this weekend too, getting seat time in a car like this is great.
"I'll keep my ear to the ground and see if I can put something together for the year. I want to try and do the [AGT] championship in something.
"At this point I don't have anything organised, but I don't want to be sitting at home for the year, so I'll keep working hard to try and put something together to get on the grid - ideally at Clipsal."
Pither will compete at this weekend's event with Hobson Motorsport in one of their two Nissan Nismo R35 GT-R GT3s, alongside Daniel Bilski and Adrian Flack in the Am class.Tomorrow's testing sessions will be the first true test of the team's newly acquired pair of GT-Rs, which were purchased from the US before getting a minor shakedown at Sydney Motorsport Park.
"We haven't really tested the car, to be honest. It was just a systems check - I did about five laps," said Pither.
"I think we're pretty well organised now. I'm really excited for the weekend ahead with the Hobson Motorsport team. It's a long race, and anything's possible."
Pither is one of several drivers who has competed in the 12-hour endurance event since its early days as a production-based meeting.
"The event itself has come a long way. I took part in 2007 in a BMW 335i. That was a reasonable car, but I think you'd be a long way off the pace if you rolled that out today," he laughed.
"It's definitely evolving, and I guess that just shows where the category in general is going. To see the calibre of drivers here, and teams, and equipment that's being rolled out, it's pretty impressive."
Qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hour takes place on Saturday at 12.40pm NZST, with a top-ten shootout following at 5.40pm NZST. The race will then start on Sunday morning at 7.45am NZST.