Every race predicted to be ‘red hot’
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