On March 11 and 12 we’re at Hampton Downs for the season climax of the BNT NZ Touring Cars, the Toyota 86 Championship and the PORTERGROUP V8 Utes, the Pirelli Porsches, the Ssangyong Actyon Utes, Formula First, the TRADEZONE GTRNZ classes of GT1/2 and GT3/4 and the fabulous Central Muscle Cars.
All of these classes have their own cult following in the sport in New Zealand and we are expecting a great turnout from spectators, sponsors, families and friends for this major motorsport event.
2000 Bathurst winner Jason Bargwanna and his team have made some serious progress with the speed of their Toyota in recent rounds of the BNT New Zealand Touring Cars, and although Simon Evans dominated the races in the first few rounds, it hasn’t been that way in the second half of the season. We expect the two to be going hard out at Hampton Downs and to be very close indeed. Throw in a couple of relative wild cards in Sam Barry, Tom Alexander and it might be event closer. Both know their way around the Hampton Downs national circuit and have won on it in other racing classes.
Toyota’s spectacular 86 Championship concludes at Hampton Downs and there will be a new champion, but it’s touch and go for the reigning champ in the PORTERGRUP V8 Utes Paul Manuell who has seen his series lead cut to 28 points heading into the final round. Richard Moore is the main challenger, but Matt Spratt and Brett Rudd both have mathematical chances of taking it out too. The racing has been intense this season in the Utes – as they mark the completion of their tenth season as a racing category in NZ.
Action will come thick and fast from the Ssangyong Actyon Ute series. This is another class to have contributed some genuinely brilliant racing to the 2016-2017 New Zealand motorsport season and will bring it in buckets to this event.
The GTRNZ grids always make for spectacular viewing and it will be great to see them back again at a Speed Works Motorsport Championship event. The variety of machinery, the dedication that has gone into preparing many of them and the sheer speed of the fastest machines are the elements that make this series great. Pirelli Porsches are also on the bill and that’s another championship series enjoying a good resurgence this season.
Watch out too for the drafting and nose to tail action of the Formula First championship as it undertakes its six round of eight. It has a championship fight that is building towards a great climax and this field too will be well worth a look.
So, motorsport fans, that’s the line-up, it’s all on in the North Waikato next weekend on March 11 and 12.
We’ll see you there!