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Teretonga set to sizzle

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The annual premier motor racing series comes to Teretonga Park from 13-15 January with all the major categories of New Zealand motorsport set to provide more top class competition for Southlanders. The BNT V8s, UDC V8 Utes and a sensational international entry list in the Toyota Racing Series are the highlights.

The BNT V8s lead the programme and this years series has settled into a three way battle between Angus Fogg, V8 Supercar star Jason Bargwanna and Tim Edgell. None of the trio has won the V8 title before although Fogg has gone agonisingly close on on more than one occasion.

Behind the top three Simon Richards leads the chase ahead of young gun Martin Short. Nick Ross is next, the best placed Holden driver, sixth in the point standings. V8 debutant Simon Evans in another Falcon is next up.

The UDC V8 Ute category is one of the excitement machines of the series. A format of marble draw and reverse grid races ensures great racing. Andrew 'DJ48' Waite and Chris 'Hammer Time' Hanley currently lead the way but the series is closer than ever this season.

The first round of the Toyota Racing Series will take place at Teretonga with one of the best line ups of international drivers ever seen in this country. Drivers from Italy, Brazil, France, Britain, Holland, Australia, Austria, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Puerto Rico will compete from backgrounds such as GP2, World Series Renault and Formula 3. International entries include Lucas Auer, nephew of former Formula 1 star Gerhard Berger, Josh Hill - grandson of Graham Hill and son of Damon - who returns for his second tilt at the series and Raffaele Marciello who is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Some of the internationals have already tested Formula 1 cars at this stage of their careers. Up against them are several kiwis including Southlands own Damon Leitch who shone in the star studded series last season.

Meanwhile Damon's brother Brendon will be on the grid in the Formula Ford category which is led by reigning champion Andre Heimgartner who became the youngest ever champion in the 40 year history of the class when he took the title last year

AJ Lauder of Turua leads the hard fought Suzuki Swift Sport Cup south while two exciting new categories join the party this year. Sports GT features a wide variety of cars and at the early rounds fire breathing monsters such as Cameron Jones rotary powered Chev Camaro and Nick Chesters Holden Supercar have featured. Meanwhile Production GT features a wide cross section of production based race cars such as EVOs, WRXs and the like.

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