Kiwi racer Chris Pither has flown under the motorsport radar for most of his racing career. It's a shame, as you couldn't meet a more professional and engaging bloke in the paddock.
There's an old adage that nice guys finish last, however that doesn't really apply in Pither's case.
As well as being an all around nice guy, Pither also has a great race pedigree having won a couple of New Zealand race series in 2003 and 2004 before winning the New Zealand V8 Ute championship in 2010 and then crossed the Ditch to pick up the Australian V8 Ute championship. He then moved up to the Dunlop Supercars Development Series finishing fourth in 2015 and fifth the following year.
With a CV like that Pither soon found himself as a co-driver in the main game and then came a full time gig in Supercars with Super Black Racing in 2016. He showed good pace in a few races and ended the season with two eighth places as his best results.
The unfortunate death of team owner Tony Lentino saw the demise of the race team and Pither was left hanging in 2017 with just endurance co-drives. This year Pither is the happiest he's been in years racing for Gary Rogers Motorsport in the Super2 series and co-driving with Garth Tander in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
He has been a revelation in the Super2 championship and after a podium finish over the weekend has extended his lead to 32 points over Paul Dumbrell with one round to go at the season ending Newcastle race weekend.
Pither will never say it, or probably think it, but his form this year is down to being in a good team with good equipment where he can concentrate at what he's good at.
"This is the happiest I've felt in a team and it's just a great team to be part of," said Pither. "They have made me feel so much at home and having a great bunch of people around you giving you a really good car makes doing well so much easier.
"Gary Rogers and the rest of the team have shown a lot of faith in me and I'm trying to repay that by driving well and will be definitely pushing hard to win the championship for the team."
Pither has shown he can run with one of the best in the series in Dumbrell. He's the regular co-driver for Jamie Whincup in the main game and has a pretty good record in Super2. He's won the series before and finished second twice and is regularly the man to beat come race day.
"I want to win this year so that it might set me up for a Supercars drive next year. The plan is to keep doing what I'm doing now [race wins and podiums] so that I can show main game teams what I can do.
"I'd really like to get back into Supercars and this time for more than just one season so I can settle into the championship and get some good results. If you look at the good drivers they have been in the main game for a number of seasons and know how it all works and can now get the best out of the car," he said.
Let's hope Pither gets his chance in 2018 to prove he belongs in the main game and if he can win the Super2 championship this year he'll be laying down some good foundations.