Manawatu’s Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon hosts those vying to be future F1 drivers this weekend as one of the categories racing at the Super Sprint Motorsport New Zealand Championship weekend.
Headlined by the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship (CTFROC), the international lineup of 14 drivers will be joined by four Kiwis. In support are the 25 cars in the Toyota 86 Championship, 17 in the Summerset GT New Zealand championship and the Super V8s, with a combined grid of TA2 Muscle Cars, Open V8s and V8 Utes.
In the Super V8 category, it will also be the first time the TA2 Muscle Cars will run at the 3.03km Manfeild Circuit and is a precursor to the Trans-Tasman 16-car series. With demand exceeding supply, the US built cars are all identical except for the outer silhouette – that matches a road-going version. Currently, there are 130 cars spread between Australia and New Zealand.
For the GT New Zealand category, the 2024 start to the season includes a second brand new Mercedes AMG GT2 that will turn its first lap at Manfeild. Sam Fillmore currently leads the Open Class (Porsche 992), and Brock Gilchrist leads in GT4 (McLaren 570S).
Leading the Toyota 86 Championship is Hawke’s Bay youngster Tom Bewley, who is returning for his second season and visit to the Manfeild circuit.
For the CTFROC wings and slicks category, it is all about catching Poland’s Roman Bilinski opening round lead. Manfeild’s banked turns provide unique overtaking opportunities and the ability for drivers to ply their craft along with pure race driving.
With local knowledge of Manfeild’s layout is Kaleb Ngatoa, who has committed to the full five rounds of the championship.
The action starts on Friday with practice, followed by qualifying on Saturday morning and the first race in the early afternoon.
Racing continues all day Sunday and will be televised live on Sky Sport (New Zealand), Fox Sports and Kayo (Australia), Pasifika television and through Europe on motorsports.tv.