MotorSport NZ championship decider at Hampton Downs this weekend
Multiple MotorSport New Zealand Championship titles will be decided this weekend at the Super Sprint event being held at Hampton Downs 5-7 May.
Across seven competition categories, six will crown a champion. They include the Toyota 86 Championship, TradeZone GTRNZ, RYCO 24.7 V8 Utes, Hamilton Asphalts Super V8s, Napa Central Muscle Cars and Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing. Only the NZ Sports Cars category has one more event to decide their season winner.
Having competed at five of the Super Sprint events this season the Toyota 86 Championship has provided continual close racing. Starting mid-January at the Highlands Motorsport Park Matakana’s Brock Gilchrist has quietly crept ahead of his rivals to take and maintain his position atop the standings. It’s now a case if Morrinsville’s Clay Osborne can overtake the 76-point gap to be in contention for the title. Taupo’s John Penny leads the master’s category while Australian Rylan Gray tops the rookie standings.
The championship winner and top rookie (two drivers) will receive an all-expenses paid trip to race a GR Supra GT4 Evo in the third round of the ADAC GT4 Germany championship at the iconic Nürburgring.
In addition, one driver will be picked by the Tony Quinn Foundation and presented the opportunity to test the latest Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro for Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Joining the Super Sprint calendar is the concluding round of the Hamilton Asphalts Super V8s. Three drivers in the V8 Open category are within 12 points of the lead with a total of 320 on offer for the weekend. Also joining the series will be accomplished motorcross riders Amie and Brianna Roberts – each in TA2 specification Camaro’s. The grid will also include TraNZams to bring the total in each race to 16 cars.
In the five-round TradeZone GTRNZ series it’s a scramble for the champions trophy – and nothing is decided. Each of the GT1, GT2, GT3 and GT4 classes has the potential for change.
Another MotorSport New Zealand Championship title will be awarded in the RYCO 24.7 V8 Ute series. A classic Ford vs Holden battle, current series leader Brad Kroef (Hamilton) has a 30-point lead over his dad Greg. In third place and first of the Holden’s is Cambridge’s Phil Ross – a further 14 points behind.
Napa Central Muscle Cars also make a return to the Super Sprint series for their title deciding event of 2023. A grid of 25 exotic and V8 powered cars race to see if Wanganui’s Tristan Teki (Chevrolet RS Camaro) can emerge the victor in the Group 1A category. A slender five points behind is Hamilton’s Shannon Coker (Holden HQ). Christchurch’s Andy Knight (Chevrolet Camaro) is third, a further 21 points behind.
Bringing a group of 41 cars to the weekend is the Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing Series. The final round for the New Zealand and North Island title, Wellington’s Simon Baker holds a slender lead for the overall crown. Currently seven points ahead of Christchurch 16-year-old Chris White, there is a 100-point gap to third placed Leo Bult (Kumeu).
NZ Sports Cars also return to the Super Sprint series for their penultimate round of the 2023 season. Dedicated open cockpit race cars, they include a mixture of factory and home-built packages from the Fraser to the Radical.
Each team gets to practice on Friday 5 May with qualifying and one race on the Saturday.
Sunday features a race in the morning with an afternoon race to cement the weekend winners.
Sunday will be televised live to Sky Sport (from 9am) and TV3 (from 1pm).