CRC New Zealand SuperGT Series - TV Coverage
2003/04 CRC New Zealand SuperGT Series
Crc Supergt Class Joins The Big Guns On Tv This Sunday
The CRC-backed New Zealand SuperGT class joins the Parker ENZED New Zealand V8 Touring Cars on TV1's Shell Helix Motorsport programme this Sunday for the first of two half-hour features from Pukekohe, Taupo and Manfeild.
Coverage of races from the third round at Pukekohe in February and the fourth round at Taupo in March starts at 3.30pm on Shell Helix Motorsport on TV1 on Sunday afternoon.
The coverage is a first for the crowd-pleasing CRC SuperGT class and could hardly have come at a better time - the final round of the 2003/04 series is in three weeks time, at the Placemakers' V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe.
The CRC-backed class is the only one with a points round at the big V8 meeting - all four other New Zealand support classes have had their final rounds and will be running non-championship races at the meeting.
That means that the coverage from Pukekohe and Taupo this weekend and Taupo and Manfeild the weekend after will be of particular interest to viewers keen to go to the big Aussie V8 meeting at Pukekohe or to watch live coverage from it (which will include the CRC SuperGTs) on TV1.
The big winner at the Pukekohe round of the 2003/04 CRC New Zealand SuperGT series in February was TVR Tuscan driven Carl Hansen, and it is he who leads the series points standings going into the final round at the Placemakers' meeting.
Hansen was again the man to beat in qualifying at the Taupo round of the CRC series in March but had trouble getting through the traffic in the first and final (handicap start) races, allowing Group 1 driver Mack Storey (Porsche 911 2.7 RS) to claim his first win of the season on Saturday and Truck-turned-SuperGT racer Calven Bonney to claim a barn-storming win in the all-action final on Sunday.
Hansen will take a strong lead into the series final at the Placemakers' meeting but second through six places overall are still anyone's guess.
In the frame - and therefore the drivers to look out for on the TV coverage this weekend - are New Plymouth's John Rae in the big late model Chevrolet Camaro V8, Group 1 leader Vince Jones in his Datsun 240Z, Subaru 22B driver Jason Liefting, Mitsubishi Evo man Nicholas Chester and Porsche stalwart Andy Tyler.
Rae and Jones are tied in second place behind Hansen on 222 points, 15 ahead of fourth placed Liefting, and 20 in front of fifth placed Holden Commodore V8 driver Richard Ryan.
Chester and Tyler are tied in sixth equal with 200 points.
SuperGT is New Zealand's premier marque-based class with - literally - something for every motor racing fan. The key difference between the CRC-backed class and any other is speed. Though there are strict eligibility, engineering and safety rules, there are no horsepower and/or weight limits.
Cars must however be production-based, and they must retain retain their original appearance. Traditionally the class has been dominated by the fire-breathing turbo-charged Porsches of 2001/02 series champion 'Racing' Ray Williams and the Lighting Direct trio of Owen Evans and father and son Bill and Dean Fulford, but over the past three seasons there has been strong growth in the Group 3 and 4 Modified classes.
Carl Hansen's TVR Tuscan is now widely regarded as the fastest, lightest and best engineered car of its type in the world, and like it, the big-block V8s of John Rae (Chev Camaro) and Calven Bonney (Holden Monaro CV8) are now a match for the spectacular Porsches.
The turbocharged Subarus of David Gunson and Jason Liefting and turbocharged Mitsubishi Evo of Nicholas Chester are also making their presence felt at the pointy end of the field, providing - with the turbocharged Nissan Skylines of the Dodson Motorsport team and Richard Ryans' V8 Commodore - the variety that is the key to the class' popularity with the fans.