GT3 stars and cars set for Hampton Downs final
Two-time champions Jonny Reid and Neil Foster will be back for a crack at their third New Zealand Three Hour title on the Hampton Downs international track.
And the big news for race fans is that with ten GT3 cars already confirmed for the final, the quality for the event on April 9th is looking extremely high.
In addition to Reid and Foster, International Motorsport will run the new McLaren 720s for Daniel Gaunt and Andrew Fawcett, as well as Sam Filmore in another upgraded Audi R8 LMS Evo with a co-driver yet to be confirmed.
Lance Hughes and Chris van der Drift have a choice of either their Nissan GTR or a newly-arrived Lamborghini at this stage, while Action Motorsport will also run their Lamborghini, with Rowan Shepherd likely to be one of the drivers.
Multiple New Zealand champion John McIntyre will make his first appearance in another Nissan GTR alongside Anthony Leighs while Rhys Gould and Gene Rollinson will field yet another Nissan GTR. Top runner Glenn Smith will also be lining up in his updated McLaren alongside long time co-driver John de Veth.
A tenth GT3 car, a brand new Mercedes, is another fascinating entry on the list so far and there could be further cars according to promoter Geoff Short from Speed Works Events.
“This is the most exciting field we have seen for a number of years, with 10 current GT3 spec cars racing alongside top endurance cars from around the country,” he said.
The One Hour field is also increasing daily and with over 25 cars confirmed already the field is likely to be fully subscribed when additional qualified cars from both the North Island and South Island Endurance Series’ are added. Entries are also coming in for the first-ever two-hour final – a non-championship category – and Short expects this grid to be a big one when the big weekend kicks off.
“With the early entry discount closing on Wednesday we anticipate a large number of entries over the next few days and of course there is still the opportunity after that for cars to enter any of the three categories. We’re very excited, it’s going to be absolutely brilliant and there will be a few surprise names on that entry list as well as some amazing racing cars, when we arrive at Hampton Downs.”
The rarely used international track layout at the North Waikato allows for up to 58 cars to run on the circuit at once, and the action will be non-stop during a busy day’s racing.
The Hampton Downs weekend also marks the start of the endurance ‘season’ with the North Island endurance calendar beginning three weeks afterwards with an event every three weeks.