New Zealand’s Premier Motorsport Championship is set for a shakeup next season, with Speed Works Events confirming a dedicated one hour feature race for GT, Porsche and V8 race cars as part of the 2017–’18 calendar.
Promoter Geoff Short confirmed the yet to be named feature race series will form a key part of four selected race weekends.
“We’re seeing this as being the feature race of the weekend,” Short said speaking
“If you aspire to go and race in a tin-top car this will be the race you would definitely want to compete in.”
Speed Works are looking for the top-12 on points from GT racing, NZ Touring Cars and Pirelli Porsche will be eligible. There is the potential for a 40-car grid with wild card entries a likely feature.
Speed Works confirmed there wouldn’t be an additional entry to their weekend.
The series concept was put to the Series Owners Group on Monday where members from various areas of New Zealand motor racing heard the proposal.
Each one hour race will run as part of the twilight Saturday’s format, with races set to commence at 6:30pm
Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park will host the inaugural one hour race in December, with additional circuits to be confirmed making up the four-race calendar.
Short said he hoped the series would attract some of the former V8 SuperTourers and NZV8 competitors back to the forefront of New Zealand motor racing.
“Speed Works are currently in discussions with a sponsor provide an exciting television and media package. It’ll be 36 of the best cars from the three best categories we have to offer on the grid.
Short said the idea of the race will be a one hour sprint with just tyre and driver changes allowed.
There are no plans to restrict who can enter the race, but a compulsory pit stop will see drivers held in pit lane during their pit stop based on car speed in qualifying. The pit stop system will likely mimic those seen in the Australian GT Championship.
“We want to get some of the coolest equipment racing across the Winter in Summer.”
The series has been bolstered by Pirelli Porsche organisers confirming they’ll run at two South Island events in the forthcoming season. This year the series made its return to Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park for the first time in half a decade.
Short said he’s spoken with former competitors who own ex-V8 SuperTourers to gauge their interest in the series, which he said has been positive.
He hoped the series would entice drivers to invite international and high profile New Zealand drivers to compete in the series.
“It would be cool for the sport. It’d attract the fan base to watch it, so we’re encouraging that and it’s something we want to see.
“It could be an exciting thing if people get out there and go ‘I want to bring over a star driver’.”
“It’s an exciting new component of what we’re bringing out this summer.”