The Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series heads to the South Island early in the New Year, and indications are there will be a large number of entries at all three venues the series visits.
Secretary of the series Lindsay Dodd says, “We have a South Island round at Timaru International Motor Raceway at the end of January, followed by two more events that double as National Rounds at Euromarque Motorsport Park at Ruapuna in Christchurch and Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell during February.”
“These are high-profile events. The Timaru round is part of the NZ Super Truck Championship programme and, as such, attracts some of the biggest motorsport crowds in the South Island while it is also live-streamed. At the moment, we are expecting a grid at that event in excess of around fifteen cars.”
Two exciting youngsters from kartsport are expected to join the ranks at Timaru. Arthur Broughan of Blenheim, a two-time NZ Schools Champion and a South Island Champion, who has been competing internationally in the FIA Academy in Europe as well as at the final round of the Australian Karting Championship, will contest his first-ever race in a saloon car while another youngster, Mac Templeton from Prebbleton near Christchurch, who won the Rotax DVS Junior title at the 2023 National Schools Championships will also compete.
“The Ruapuna and Highlands rounds double as National Championship rounds and will have television coverage, so it is not only an opportunity to get cars out to have a run but will also provide competitors with great coverage,” says Dodd.
“Already grids up to thirty cars are expected for these two rounds with several North Island teams heading south for the trio of events.”
Dodd says the series would also welcome some of the Series 1 Mazda RX7s to the Historic Class that are currently sitting idle.
“There are loads of Series 1 Mazda RX7s in sheds around the country, and with our series heading to the South Island, we would welcome them onto our grid. A couple of North Island competitors who run the Historic Class in Series 1 cars are heading south for these events, and we welcome more to join us. We also have a couple of Series 1 cars in the Historic Class that are running by invitation, so we welcome more.”
The Historic Class also run for an overall National Championship title.
The Timaru round takes place over the weekend of 26-28 January 2024, with Ruapuna a fortnight later from 9-11 February and Highlands a week after that from 16-18 February.
Header Image: Recent Nexen Tyre NZ Mazda Racing Series action from Taupo International Motorsport Park. Image: Geoff Ridder