NZ Pro7 Championship Kicks Off New Season At Teretonga
25 September 2012
New Zealand Pro7 Championship Kicks Off New Season At Teretonga
Teretonga Park, on the outskirts of Invercargill, will play host to Round 1 of the New Zealand Pro7 Championship at the opening meeting of the season at the circuit this weekend, 29/30 September.
The New Zealand title for the Toyo Tyres sponsored category is fought out over two rounds, one in the South Island and one in the North Island each year. This season Teretonga will host the southern round while the North Island instalment will be at Manfeild in Feilding at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting on 9/10 February next year.
Each island have their own respective series every year and the New Zealand title fight is the one time competitors from both islands come together. The south has had a mortgage on the title over the years winning on all but three occasions since the championship began in 1995. Jarrod Parmenter of Timaru has won the last three championships but he will not compete this year making it a wide open race.
It is fair to say this years South Island contingent is light on experience whereas the North Island competitors feature some well known names.
The championship is fought out in two classes - Pro7 Plus and Pro7.
The favourite for the Pro7 Plus class is Dean McMillan of Napier. A former NZV8 competitor McMillan is very experienced and an old hand in the class and is the defending champion in the Pro7 Plus class. Matt Carkeek of Wellington is another favoured runner while Suzuki Swift Sport Cup competitor Matt Gibson of Wanganui will also line up. South Island honours in the Pro7 Plus class rest with Hamish Collins, brother of former Toyota Racing Series Champion and MINI Challenge competitor Brent Collins.
In the Pro7 Class the North Island have some very experienced drivers, none moreso than Phil Blythe of Auckland. Blythe, who made several appearances in NZV8s last summer, has years of experience in the class and has finished second and third in the New Zealand Championship in the past. He has a strong car with a good history and is back to take care of unfinished business and finally nail the top step of the podium. To underline the experience of the northern contingent Wanganui competitor Bob Smith has around 20 years of racing in the class.
The souths best chances probably rest with Daniel Taylor of Timaru, Ken Thompson of Dunedin and another from Timaru, George Gilbert, in the car that Parmenter won his first two NZ titles in.
The Pro7 competitors will practice and qualify on Saturday 29 September with racing the following day.
The new season at Teretonga Park gets underway over the weekend of 29/30 September with motor racing presented by Downer. In addition to the Toyo Tyres New Zealand Pro7 Championship there will be a round of the ASKO Appliances South Island Endurance Series 3 Hour and 1 Hour races, the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons and Sports & Racing Cars.
A weekend pass is just $15 while a Sunday only ticket is $10. Children under 14 are free. Racing begins at 11.30am on Saturday with action on the track from 10.00am on Sunday.
Full information on the Southland Sports Car
Club 2012/2013 season can be found at - www.teretonga.org.nz
Calendar 2012/2013 Season - Teretonga Park
29/30 September 2012: Motor Racing presented by Downer - South Island Endurance Series, NZ Pro 7 Championship, Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons, Sports & Racing Cars
4 November 2012: Motor Racing presented by Downer - Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons, Sports & Racing Cars & Motorcycles
1/2 December 2012: Motor Racing presented by Downer - OSCA Saloons, Pre 65 Saloons, Mini 7 South, South Island Formula Ford, Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Salloons, Sports & Racing Cars
11-13 January 2013: NZV8s, Toyota Racing Series; Formula Ford, Sports GT, Production GT & one class to be confirmed
15-17 February 2013: Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest featuring Classic Saloons, Historic Touring Cars, Vintage Car Club, Sports & Racing Cars, South Island Pre 65 Saloons, Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons & Formula 5000 - to be confirmed
17 March 2013: Motor Racing presented by Downer - Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons, Sports & Racing Cars, NZ Six Saloons, Pro 7 Saloons, A1 Autos One Hour Race