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Kiwi team leads V8 revolution

Media Release
Friday 7 December 2012

Kiwi team leads V8 revolution

The revolution in Australasian V8 racing is heralded by two Toyotas being prepared at a workshop in Paeroa.

The pair of Camrys to be fielded by Richards Team Motorsport will break the long-standing monopoly of Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons in the V8 Supercar and NZV8s championships when they hit the track at Teretonga, Invercargill, next month.

V8 Supercars and NZV8s are both adopting new formulas, using purpose-built racing chassis with the metal bodywork of any large four-door sedan. Nissan and Mercedes enter V8 Supercars in 2013 but the Kiwi Toyotas will be the first newcomers to face the start lights.

“We’re very proud to be racing the Toyota Camrys,” team manager Stephen Richards of Tony Richards Toyota said. “It’s something new – the times are changing. It’s very exciting.”

Powering the Camrys – which will appear in Toyota racing colours of red and white – are V8s developed for sports-car endurance races like the Daytona 24-hour classic. Young Hamilton driver Martin Short, who impressed in last summer’s championship, will drive the lead car but the second driver has not yet been selected.

Other new-generation cars include Commodores for Australian V8 Supercar driver Jason Bargwanna and Cambridge racer Nick Ross, and a Falcon for Aucklander Haydn Mackenzie.

Blenheim driver Hugh Gardiner joins the championship after success in other categories including twice winning the Porsche 996 title. “This is officially New Zealand’s top championship and I think it’s the most cost-effective form of racing in this country,” he said.

Gardiner will race an older-generation (TL category) Falcon. The two types of car will race together this season, each class competing for its own Championship, and the TL cars will also be running for the MotorSport NZ Gold Star. With more power and superior handling, the new cars will be significantly faster.

Suzuki Swift champion AJ Lauder from Turua and his brother Brad, also a front-runner in last season’s Swift series, are both moving up to the V8s, driving Falcons previously run by the Richards team. At 18 and 16 respectively, they are the youngest in the field but they are being mentored by their grandfather Frank Radisich, a top driver in his time, and their uncle Paul Radisich, twice winner of the World Cup for touring cars and later a regular in V8 Supercars.

Other drivers who have entered at this point include Hamilton’s Bronson Porter and Dunedin’s Ross Cameron. Entries are still being received and a full list will be published closer to the start of the championship.

2013 MSNZ Race Championship calendar:
Round 1: January 12-13, Teretonga (Invercargill)
Round 2: January 19-20, Timaru
TRS: January 26-27, Taupo
TRS: February 2-3, Hampton Downs
Round 3: February 9-10, Manfeild
Round 4: March 9-10, Taupo
Round 5: April 12-14, Pukekohe (V8 Supercars meeting)

Ends

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