GTRNZ
Thursday, Mar 7 04:38pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Five titles to be decided at Hampton Downs this weekend

Five drivers will be crowned champion of the series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park this weekend.

 

The BNT V8s, V8 Utes Series, Toyota 86 Championship and Motul Honda Cup will have their overall titles decided.

 

The BNT V8s will host two title fights in Class One and Class Two. Australina up-and-comer Jack Smith currently leads the way in Class One ahead of series veteran Nick Ross.

 

Just back of them sits Lance Hughes and series newcomer Rob Wallace. Hughes has looked threatening all season to get a win, though there’s a good chance he’ll do what he needs to do to help teammate Smith to the title.  

 

BNT V8s

Photo: Matt Smith 

 

Meanwhile, in Class Two, the fight is firmly between Justin Ashwell and Matt Podjursky, either of which could win.

 

Brock Timperley could be the cat among the pigeons in the fight for Class Two honours though. A one-off appearance at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint last year means he sits a distant third in the order, but he returns to the fold this weekend and could upset the proceedings.

 

Collinson

Photo: Geoff Ridder 

 

The V8 Utes Series is led by Matt Sprat in his Ford Falcon FG. He holds a commanding 40-point lead and is trailed by fellow Ford pilot Glen Collinson (above). The Panorama Motorsport driver returns to Hampton Downs one year on from his fateful crash that kyboshed any hopes of a title last year.

 

The field will be one of the biggest in recent history with 18 of the V8-powered Ford and Holden utes taking to the short six-turn North Waikato circuit.

 

Ransley

Photo: Bruce Jenkins 

 

The Toyota 86 Championship will be one of the best title fights to watch as Jaden Ransley (above) and Callum Hedge square off for top honours. Former series leader Jordan Baldwin sits just back in third and will need a fair bit of luck if he wants to win the title.

 

Hedge has the added advantage of home territory, but Ransley’s consistency has been key to a solid season this year. It’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top come Sunday.

 

It’s a tight battle at the top for outright honours in Motul Honda Cup. Currently the series is led by Simeon Woolsey (below, lead) in his Honda Integra. However, young gun Bayley Walker (below, second) isn’t far behind in his Honda Civic. A mere seven points split the pair with three races to go on 227 and 214 points apiece.

 

Honda CUp

Photo: Matt Smith 

 

Mathematically there are five drivers in contention for the championship. Paul Muldoon sits just back of the leaders in third with 196 points to his credit. Greg Spark and Andrew Johnstone are still in the running, though are unlikely to come out the other side as champions unless something drastic happens at the front.

 

This weekend also sees the title race tighten up in several other classes. The iconic GTRNZ fields of GT1/2 and GT3/4 will battle it out before heading to Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo next month.

 

ENZED Central Muscle Cars, Pirelli Porsche Series, Formula First and the NEXEN Tyre Mazda Pro 7 Series will also race this weekend.

 

Racing this weekend will be live streamed via the Speed Works Events YouTube channel

 

Current generation 991 machines, 997, 996, 944 and a few other Porsche racing models should all be in action in the Pirelli Porsche Series. Michael Neville is the man of the moment in that class in his red 997 and he leads the entries for the weekend. 

 

For the fans of the big racers from the past, the meeting welcomes back the iconic ENZED Central Muscle car fleet and they will be a hugely popular addition to a very big race meeting.

 

All the old favourites are there, adding their unique blend of nostalgia and racing to the meeting. After the dramas of Manfeild a couple of weekends ago, can Pinepac Racing get a car together for Andrew Anderson?

 

Completing the line-up of racing machinery and action for the huge final weekend are the TradeZone GTRNZ cars – with their two grids of absolutely crazy, anything-goes machines that includes the three Crawford Daytona Prototypes of Glenn Smith, John De Veth and Adam Newell - the three fastest racing cars with a roof in New Zealand. 

 

CLICK HERE for the full weekend program

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