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Slight Flies Home To Prepare For Endurance Race


Slight Flies Home To Prepare For Yellow Pages Endurance Race

Caltex Havoline Racing

Caltex Havoline Racing team leader Aaron Slight flies home today to prepare for this weekend's big Yellow Pages 500 km endurance race at Christchurch's Ruapuna Park.

Former Superbike star Slight, 36, has been competing in the British Touring Car championship this year and the Masterton-born man says he is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this week.

" My last race in the UK was only a month ago but already it seems longer. I really enjoyed my last drive in a New Zealand V8 and from what everyone tells me the cars have come on in leaps and bounds since then."

Slight has hardly been out of the news since he made his move from two to four wheels, the three-time Suzuka 8-Hour race winner and two-time runner-up in the World Superbike Championship making an impressive debut in the high-profile and intensely competitive British Touring Car championship last year, then driving a Barwell Motorsport-prepared Vauxhall Astra coupe to a fighting second in the Independents' Cup category and 13th overall this year.

Slight was odds-on favourite to win the Independents' Cup, but he has taken out in both races at the final round, leaving him three points adrift of Peugeot driver Dan Eaves.

On his way back to New Zealand Slight stopped off at Bathurst to watch Yellow Pages 500 teammate Andy Priaulx compete in the Bob Jane T Marts 1000 km race.

Priaulx, 28, finishing fifth overall in this year's British Touring Car championship and Slight rates the Channel Islander (he was born and bred on the island of Guernsey) highly.

"He's fast, and he's a very quick learner. He didn't have a very good run today (at Bathurst) but I think he's going to go very well at Ruapuna."

This year's Yellow Pages 500km has attracted a star-studded field and host broadcaster TVNZ expects the Sunday afternoon race to be a ratings winner.

Last year it rated favourably compared to the annual Bathurst 1000 Endurance race and the decision to limit it to Enzed New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship cars (Ford and Holden V8s) has been widely applauded.

Lining up to challenge Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon AU drivers Slight and Priaulx is a veritable who's who of New Zealand motor racing drivers including former World Touring Car champion and current Australian V8 Supercar championship front-runner Paul Radisich, 2001 New Zealand Grand Prix winner Andy Booth and 2001 New Zealand V8 Touring Car champion.

Also expected to do well in the second Tracer Motorsport Ford Falcon AU are Greg Brinck and Peter Van Breugal.

The Yellow Pages 500km endurance race will be broadcast live on TV1's Shell Helix motorsport show on Sunday October 20.


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