Revved-up rivals bury hatchet
TOURING CARS AND SUPERTOURERS AGREE TO START ON THE SAME GRID
The first step towards healing the rift in V8 racing in New Zealand is just around the corner. NZV8 Touring Cars have confirmed they will be on the same grid as the NZ SuperTourers at Pukekohe on April 11 and 12.
Although the two factions have been at the same meeting in the past, they have not lined up side by side.
Over the past few seasons V8 grids in New Zealand have seen only eight to 10 cars rocking up. The purists and the more technically minded may whinge about parity but for those who want to just watch some racing it’s the perfect opportunity to see how the two types of car go head to head.
“Owen Evans and I have been having discussions for a while now about trying to get the two categories back together again and reintroducing Tier One racing,” said NZ Touring Cars chairman Ian Booth.
“If we can get through this weekend and all start mingling again over a barbecue or whatever, then with everyone on the same plan we should be able to get the categories back together again.
“All of us working on the problem know that this decision to line up in the same race is the right way to go — not just for NZV8TC and NZST, but for all motorsport in New Zealand ... [both categories] just decided to bite the bullet and just go for it, go racing and sort the technical stuff out later.”
There has been much talk behind the scenes in recent months especially following the cancellation of the recent South Island rounds of the NZ SuperTourers series because of small fields.
“I’ve been talking to Ian quite a bit lately and we both have the same vision for V8 racing in New Zealand,” said Evans, who runs his son Simon’s NZ SuperTourer team.
“Sure the cars are different but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to run them together as they are. The SuperTourer is a little bit quicker than the TLX car and after this round we’ll get a steering committee together and work out the best way to try to figure out parity going forward. We can also plan what support classes can be involved and the fans will be able to turn up without being confused about what class is racing.”
The two categories are trying to nail down the format for the weekend. Although they run a similar chassis, the running gear and the engines are quite different.
This is just the beginning of the long road towards amalgamating the two categories.