IN­TER­NA­TIONAL STAN­DARD

NZV8 - - LOCAL GOSSIP -

The Porter Hire In­ter­na­tional Sprint­car Se­ries of­fers the best sprint­car rac­ing ac­tion in New Zealand and will be the first of the in­ter­na­tional se­ries to get un­der­way this sea­son with Round 1 kick­ing off on Sun­day, 1 De­cem­ber, at Western Springs Speed­way. This se­ries boasts a to­tal prize pool of al­most $75K with the largest pay­out on the fi­nal round, see­ing the win­ner tak­ing home a cool $10K.

But don’t think that it’s go­ing to come handed on a sil­ver plat­ter — who­ever ends up win­ning will have to work damn hard for their pay. As the cal­en­dar has race meet­ings about a day apart, the pressure on com­peti­tors is im­mense. Due to the tight sched­ule, they can’t wreck their gear, but have to push to win, mak­ing a rac­ing spec­ta­cle that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The com­peti­tors then head south to Bay­park Fam­ily Speed­way on Tues­day, 4 De­cem­ber, for Round 2, then on to Robert­son Holden In­ter­na­tional Speed­way in Palmer­ston North on Thurs­day, 6 De­cem­ber. The fi­nal round re­turns to Western Springs Speed­way on Satur­day, 8 De­cem­ber.

This year’s se­ries also wel­comes back US driv­ers Shane Ste­wart and Kyle Hirst. Both driv­ers en­joyed their last time here in New Zealand so much that they are bring­ing their fam­i­lies this time! Shane was also the over­all win­ner last year, and is keen to show ev­ery­one that that wasn’t a fluke but is gen­uinely ex­cited to re­turn, telling us: “I had a great ex­pe­ri­ence last year, rac­ing in New Zealand. Greg and ev­ery­one at Western Springs Speed­way wel­comed me with open arms, and I am look­ing for­ward to get­ting back this year and try­ing to re­main the cham­pion of the se­ries. I can’t thank Brian, An­nette, and Shaun enough for bring­ing me back out!” Kyle was sim­i­larly en­thused, say­ing that, “It was an hon­our to be in­vited over to New Zealand last year to race at Western Springs. The Springs have so much his­tory, and it’s cool to be a lit­tle part of that. I’m look­ing for­ward to com­ing back over this year and hope­fully adding my name to the win list at the famed track!” Shane and Kyle will be joined by Aus­tralians Jamie Veal and Troy Lit­tle. Both driv­ers have im­pres­sive CVs and they ex­pect to take it to the Kiwi and Amer­i­can driv­ers.

Jamie Veal, ap­pro­pri­ately nick­named

‘The Real Deal’, is go­ing to be tough to beat, hav­ing qual­i­fied for A-Main at Knoxville, say­ing, “It’s al­ways that lit­tle bit eas­ier when you’re driv­ing your own car. You get straight into your groove, espe­cially hav­ing your crew chief around.”

The Kiwi driv­ers start their cam­paign on Open­ing Night — tak­ing place at Western Springs Speed­way on Satur­day, 3 Novem­ber — in their at­tempts to be se­lected to rep­re­sent New Zealand. Teams rac­ing is sched­uled for all four rounds, with the win­ning team tak­ing home a cash bonus each night.

As the num­ber of cars in the field ap­proaches 40, the Porter Hire In­ter­na­tional Sprint­car Se­ries will be one to wit­ness, since only half of those start­ing will make the all-im­por­tant Fea­ture Race. For se­ries up­dates, tick­ets, and fur­ther venue info, go to springsspeed­way.com.

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