This summer’s BNT NZV8 series will see new technical rules and race formats as the category looks to encourage a wider variety of entries.
The refreshed category will be split into two sub-categories: NZV8s and TTV8s (Trans-Tasman V8s).
The former will see a relaxing of the current eligibility rules, with the grid now open to a broader range of naturally aspirated V8 saloon and coupe body styles. These include SuperTourers, Mitchell Race Xtreme TLXs, BMW Open V8s, Howe GTs, and any other V8 Touring Cars with body shapes manufactured from the year 2000 onwards.
A ban on driver aids has been lifted, as have restrictions on gearbox, diff, brakes and suspension packages.
Category manager Gary Lathrope says the new rule overhaul is designed to encourage a healthy grid of V8 machinery.
“It’s an exciting time for V8 racing in New Zealand, and we know how much Kiwis love V8s, it’s important that we try something different to get cars back out on the track again,” said Lathrope.
“We experimented with adding some additional specification V8 cars to the grid in the past couple of seasons, and it has worked well and provided some great racing.
“The feedback from car owners and competitors is that they want to get out there and race, and for their racing to give them more enjoyment.”
The format of each race weekend has also been radically changed.
Two shorter sprint races determined by a marble draw will be held on Saturday. The results of these will decide the grid for a one-hour feature race on Sunday. The feature race will carry the most points and will include a compulsory pitstop.
The time for each pitstop varies for each car and will be determined by a Balance of Performance system to give each car the best chance of winning.
“The race weekend formats are designed around the competitor being consistent, and the fact that anyone can win,” added Lathrope.
The recently announced TTV8 series, which will see the introduction of NZV8TA2 cars, will still be eligible for the BNT NZV8 series. However, there will also be separate points and a title for these cars as the series slowly implements them into the category.
The series will race at all four North Island circuits but won’t be visiting the South Island this season.
The first round of the BNT NZV8s Series will be at Pukekohe Park on December 4-6.
BNT NZV8 calendar:
- Round One – 4/6 December Pukekohe
- Round Two – 22/24 January Hampton Downs
- Round Three – 12/14 February Manfield
- Round Four – 26/28 March Taupo
- Round Five – April TBC