Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Fierce competition for New Zealand Grand Prix

Fierce competition for New Zealand Grand Prix

The New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild on Sunday will be the most competitive for many years, with at least seven drivers fast enough to vie for the prestigious trophy.

The Grand Prix will be the third of the three Toyota Racing Series races over the weekend and is likely to decide the winner of that championship, adding extra tension to the event.

The entry of 22 of the wings-and-slicks racers is the biggest for a very long time, and includes several young racers who can be expected to shine in international racing in the years to come – like Russian Daniil Kvyat, who raced in the TRS two years ago and now joins the Toro Rosso Formula One team.

The meeting will be by far the biggest domestic motorsport event this year. As well as the TRS it features MotorSport New Zealand championship races for NZV8 Touring Cars, Toyota Finance 86 coupes and NZ Formula Ford, plus the BNT V8 SuperTourers.

Singapore driver Andrew Tang goes into the final weekend with a seven-point lead in the TRS championship and the GP will have extra significance for him as it could be his last race for two years – he is due to start his compulsory military service after it.

Just seven points behind Tang is British driver Jann Mardenborough, who has also been both fast and consistent. Third is Russian driver Egor Orudzhev who is fast and fearless, especially in the wet, but less consistent than the first two.

Invercargill racer Damon Leitch stands fourth in the series but still well within striking distance of the top, such is the competitiveness of the championship.

“It’s real close,” Leitch said. “I think that so long as we get a real good go this weekend we should be able to move up a couple of places.

“I’ll just do my best and see what happens. Qualifying is going to be real important this weekend.”

Of course the Grand Prix, which has more than 60 years of history and has been won by Formula One world champions, is an extra incentive for drivers to push their cars to the maximum.

“It would be great to win that, it’s a big race and a prestigious trophy,” Leitch said. “It’s the first proper GP, recognised by the FIA [the international motorsport body], for this calendar year so that’s quite cool.

“The GP is longer than the other races, 35 laps, but it’s still going to be a sprint race – a long one.”

Two fast drivers who have lost points through bad luck, Estonian Martin Rump and Dutchman Steijn Schothorst, will see the GP as an opportunity to finish the championship with a flourish, even if they are probably out of contention for the series title. Rump is fifth and Schothorst seventh, but both have won races already.

Christchurch rookie James Munro, 17, is sixth and has one victory to his credit. If he can qualify well he will also be in with a chance of Grand Prix glory.

In NZV8 Touring Cars, Australian Jason Bargwanna (Toyota Camry) is trying to overhaul the points lead of Cambridge driver Nick Ross (Holden Commodore) in the TLX category for new cars.

The TL category is close at the top with James McLaughlin (Lower Hutt, Holden), Ian Booth (Hamilton, Holden), Grant Molloy (Invercargill, Ford) and Brock Cooley (Wellington, Ford) all within 36 points of one another, where a win earns 75 points.

The new championship for the Toyota TR 86 coupes is likely to see more battles between TRS graduates Andrew Waite (Auckland) and Jamie McNee (Wellington), as at Hampton Downs last weekend. However Waite is not contesting the full championship so series leader McNee does not have to worry too much about beating his rival.

Invercargill racer Jamie Conroy won the first nine races of the NZ Formula Ford championship but, hampered by a mysterious engine problem, could manage only one victory at Hampton Downs. Wanganui rookie Aaron Marr showed he was a fast learner as he won one race there, and Michael Collins from Christchurch is always in contention at the front.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news