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Old 22 May 2001, 06:07 (Ref:95054)   #1
Crash Test
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
The NZ Scene

So what is big these days over in NZ? How do the schedule 2 quasi production-super touring cars stack up in quality and quantity against Trans-Ams, Formula Ford, trucks, and whatever other categories you folk have??
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Old 23 May 2001, 14:46 (Ref:95551)   #2
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Howdy all

The 2lt tourers is defintely the best class we have, well the closest and most entertaining. Jason and Angus came 1st and 2nd in the 00/01 summer series in the new Primeras, and the new team did a sterling job to take it to the 2 car BMW . Jason previously drove a BMW, and Angus drove a Bluebird the season before and provided some classic duels. The series also runs Lexus, Telstars, Coronas and some 1600s too. Most meets have reverse grids which make for good entertainment, and the series has over the last few years been reignited by Angus in 00 and TKR in 01 both giving the BMW Motorsport team a decent challenge.

Our V8 series just this season made the upgrade from the older models to the VT's and AU's and the season was a bit mish mash. The cars are about 350hp so are nothing compared to the Shell series, but the racing is good enough and is a common stepping stone for drivers to enter the TraNZam series. THere is one 2 car team, PSM Racing, the team who Radisich drove with at the LK500, they run AU's. (Matthew Halliday also drove at the LK500 and is now to campaign the Indy Lights series with Conquest racing). Paul Manuell won the title this time around with his own outfit (who has now selling his VT), used to drive for Paul Pedersen in the CAT team who have now switched to TraNZams. THe series used to be well alive a few years ago with Pedersen and Chris Buttler door to door handle the whole time, but this year nobody could seem to mount a good enough challenge to Manuell on a consistent basis and many boring races were witnesed. Michael Thom (LK500 winner (i think?!) with Ashley Stichbury), Bruce Robb - fords best runner and Andrew Anderson who debuted this summer all shone though. V8's doesnt get much media at all compared to 2ltr class, but now with the newer models more sponshorship opportunities should become available and the series should become stronger. I hope that maybe one day our series will be a gateway for some into both Aussie series, but they need to sort some serious hp issues before there is a chance of that happenning.

Our fast fellas are the TraNZams. Good for 300 kays at a few tracks they always put a smile on my dial, but as with the V8's there really isnt enough competition. Ashley Stichbury easily won the title in a Corvette for Mark Petch Motorsport. Last year the car was driven by Shane Drake who I think is not currently racing (has been rumored as an enduro partner at Bathurst/QLD last few years), and he and Baird in previous years have been the main show. Craig Baird made an appearance in the final round at Manfield to throw a challenge to Stichbury, but was announced after the Stichys team decided to let Leroy Stevenson have a run in the Corvette as Ashley already had the title. Ashley was to run the second car, the 6ltr Camaro which wasnt really good enough to get the job done, but didnt race due to a controversy over the use of Proflex shocks which were not yet on the approved parts list. Baird was said to of offered to let Ashleys car run without the carby restrictions, and that both of them and Stevenson start from the rear, but the officials said nay. This year saw the Jag XKR made eligible, and ex V8 top runner Andrew Fawcett spent time developing the car.

Anyway, that is enough dribble.

In brief,
FF's are slow, but is the closest championship alongside the 2ltrs. Kenny Smith (who has done wonders for Dixon and Halliday), just missed out on the title this year by 3 points, from youngster James Cressey. The RATS young nephew MAtthew of 12 years is to run a FF this year. Trucks are good fun, Robin Porter dominated. Bajema made the trip over for the series and came in 3rd overall.

Support classes are HQ's, SS2000, Mini 7's, Formula First, Pre 65's, GT Production class to name a few. All strong fields, good racing overall. Our crowd pleaser would have to be Dean Perkins, who runs a Mustang in Pre65's and an XE in GT's. He is dominant in both classes, and is spectaculor in the handicap reverse grid races. Some larakin entered a black Satan Bentley (?), number 666, in the GT's a few years ago, who apperrently was spotted smoking a certain substance during a race weekend. He ended up doing about $20k damage to Camaro at Whenuapai a few years back, which holds classic meets very seldomly. I think he was banned at the end of it.


Good on you for those that have read this far!!

Ive noticed a few kiwis here, what do you guys have to add?
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Old 23 May 2001, 20:01 (Ref:95651)   #3
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So is NZ 2Ll tourers considered the "top/most popular" series in NZ? Kinda like V8 Supercar in Aussie and Nascar in the US?
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Old 24 May 2001, 13:36 (Ref:95980)   #4
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yeah kmchow, it would have to be the most popular at the moment. The actual name of the class is called NZ Touring Cars. Its usually the only class they show segments of during the sports news on telly. Sponsorship in a lot greater than the other classes too. TraNZams are close behind if not equal in terms of popularity, but there is not much excitement to the racing, they are the fastest cars here and good to watch but there is generally not much passing.
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