Ev­ery race pre­dicted to be ‘red hot’

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Last minute prepa­ra­tions are be­ing ticked off the to-do list ahead of High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park’s sec­ond ma­jor meet­ing since it opened. With the BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers and the Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries shar­ing the race card for the first time in New Zealand mo­tor­sport his­tory and fan­tas­tic rac­ing promised by the UDC V8 Utes and the Au­to­sure Cen­tral Mus­cle Cars, it is set to be another ac­tion­packed weekend on track this weekend. Gen­eral man­ager Mike Sentch said hav­ing the pop­u­lar V8 Su­perTour­ers driv­ers and their teams at High­lands, with the sup­port of Downer New Zealand, would be fan­tas­tic, be­cause ‘‘ev­ery sin­gle race of this se­ries is red hot from the get-go’’. ‘‘We can’t wait to see them strive to mas­ter the com­plex­i­ties of the 4.1-kilo­me­tre High­lands cir­cuit as they race this far south for the first time. Just how much of an ad­van­tage will it be for Greg Mur­phy, Craig Baird, John McIn­tyre, An­gus Fogg, Daniel Gaunt and Si­mon Evans to have raced on the cir­cuit at our open­ing meet­ing, the High­lands 101, last Novem­ber? And then there’s An­drew Waite, who’s a reg­u­lar fea­ture at High­lands as a driv­ing in­struc­tor – he’ll be bring­ing a heap of on-track ex­pe­ri­ence to his race role with Tas­man Mo­tor­sports Group.’’ Sentch was also look­ing for­ward to see­ing the pre­mier wings and slicks field on track. ‘‘Add the Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries to the mix and the shared top billing with the V8 Su­perTour­ers cre­ates another first for New Zealand mo­tor­sport and for High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park. ‘‘We’re de­lighted to see that as New Zealand’s pre­mier mo­tor rac­ing cham­pi­onship cel­e­brates its tenth an­niver­sary, they’ll bring a record 19-strong in­ter­na­tional con­tin­gent from 13 coun­tries and four young Ki­wis to cre­ate the 23-car grid for their first-ever event at High­lands cir­cuit.’’ The Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries en­tries in­clude Brazil­ian Pe­dro Pi­quet, Satur­day and Sun­day High­lands Mo­tor­sport 15, the youngest son of three times For­mula One World Cham­pion Nel­son Pi­quet, who joins the 2013 TRS cham­pi­onship-win­ning team M2 Com­pe­ti­tion. The teenager will be ac­com­pa­nied to New Zealand by his fa­ther, who ex­pects to at­tend all five rounds. ‘‘Com­plet­ing the race card for an ac­tion-packed weekend of top­class mo­tor rac­ing at High­lands are the UDC V8 Utes and Au­to­sure Cen­tral Mus­cle Cars, both very pop­u­lar cat­e­gories sure to de­liver bril­liant ac­tion over the two days of rac­ing.’’ A new spec­ta­tor view­ing area along the back straight near the ‘bus stop’ would pro­vide greater views, he said.

In the blood: Three-time F1 world cham­pion Nel­son Pi­quet and his 15-year-old son Pe­dro, left, who will be com­pet­ing at the High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park this weekend. When: Where: Park What: BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers and the Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries Tick­ets: Avail­able at High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park or via Ticket Di­rect More info: high­lands.co.nz

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