Mobile V8 International At Pukekohe
Best Of Local Motor Racing Action Supports Boost Mobile V8 International At Pukekohe
Motor racing fans are guaranteed three days of petrol head heaven when the V8 SUPERCARS cross the Tasman in November this year.
Accompanying the thundering V8 SUPERCARS will be New Zealand's premier motor racing classes, namely TraNZams, FF1600 (formerly called Formula Ford) and a combined New Zealand Touring Cars field with two-litre Touring Cars and NZ V8 Tourers.
"I understand there's a bit of discussion as to whether the Australian V8 Supercars or the New Zealand TraNZams will be fastest around Pukekohe," says Geoff Jones, Motorsport Director for IMG, the event promoters. "Well, we know watching 32 thundering V8 Supercars is going to be great fun as these guys will all be pretty quick around this fast circuit. If the TraNZams are going at similar speeds down the back straight, fans are definitely in for a veritable feast of racing action.
Kerry Cooper of MotorRace New Zealand says the exact format of the support race programme is now being finalised by promoters, IMG.
Mr Jones confirms the classes are all confirmed as part of the Boost Mobile V8 International meeting at Pukekohe. "We're finalising the format now which will involve each of the four support classes contending the first two races of their national championships on Sunday 11 November," says Mr Jones. "At this stage, all classes will have controlled testing and practice sessions on the circuit on Friday. Saturday sees all classes undertaking their official qualifying sessions, while the V8 Supercars also have their Top 10 shoot-out competition and their first 100 kilometre race. On Sunday each of the New Zealand classes will have two races, along with the two 100 kilometre races for the V8 Supercars."
The TraNZam class will see Ashley Stichbury start his defence of the New Zealand TraNZam Championship in a new car currently being built by team owner Mark Petch. Craig Gilbert looks set for a strong start to the season with his purchase of the Corvette used by Ashley to win the 2000 championship. Rookie of the year last season, Paul Pedersen of Rotorua again campaigns his CAT Camaro.
The New Zealand Two-litre Touring Cars is always a well-supported class, with organisers saying there are several new cars being built to the new FIA super production rules. Team Kiwi Racing will run a two-car campaign again this season with their Nissan Primeras driven by newly signed drivers John McIntyre and Rhys McKay. The BMW Motorsport team is likely to run at least two cars, maybe three. Several brand-new AU Falcons and VX Commodores are expected to start their championship bid in the New Zealand V8 Touring Car division.
Formula Ford is now known as FF1600 and the ever-popular open wheeler class is likely to benefit with the New Zealand Grand Prix being run as part of their championship later in the season. Veteran racing driver Ken Smith will be keeping the younger FF1600 drivers honest with another season behind the wheel of his Formula Ford.