Former NZV8 and V8 Ute champion Paul Manuell believes the new generation TA2 NZV8 car will be “the perfect fit” for the New Zealand racing scene.
Having claimed the Asian TA2 crown late last year, Manuell has been at the forefront of the process to bring ‘Big Banger’ racing back to the pinnacle of NZ V8 motorsport.
While the cars seen on New Zealand’s shores will be slightly more bare than its Asian counterparts, Manuell admits its affordability and equal platform will make the series an attractive investment for both the veteran racer and weekend warrior.
“Though they are a Howe chassis, the cars we raced in Thailand last season were a six-speed sequential, rather than the four-speed we have here,” said Manuell.
“It’s a slightly different brake package and a slightly different rear end, but the suspension and geometry is very similar.”
The New Zealand and Australian PBR spec cars will feature a G-Force 4 speed transmission, while the suspension set up consists of Penske single adjustable 7” shocks and a 2” front sway bar.
“These cars are great. There is no other car that can compare to the performance of these cars in their price range. This formula allows drivers to use their skill behind the wheel, not the money spent on the engine or shed.
“Once you get your head around the tyre, how it behaves, you soon get to trust it. It’s a good tyre, it gives grip like I’ve never had before – a phenomenal package.”
Manuell added that fans can expect an engine performance not too dissimilar from the current iteration of BNT V8 spec cars.
Lap times from shakedown testing from Hampton Downs have supported Manuell’s claim, with the TA2 machines lapping closely around class one NZV8 speeds.
“The engines are very similar, these cars are down on ‘cubes’ a wee bit from the previous cars we’ve been running. But they have a lot of torque and a serious exhaust system. Putting a proper set of extractors on a car makes a world of difference to the performance of a car – and that’s what these cars have.
“The cars are light, these are 1250kg with the driver in it. They are very quick, in the turns and through the turns. They are a fast car, I think people will be very surprised.”
“They are a lot louder than say a V8 SuperTourer, they sound sensational.”
Manuell is facilitating the sale and service of TA2 into the country out of his own business where he will be responsible for the tuning of each beast. Announcement of the first sales are expected to be revealed shortly.
“Bang for [your] buck, these cars are great. In Australia, guys are running these cars out of the garages at home. Not out of big race shops.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of classes and these cars are going to be really economical to run which is unheard of in motorsport.
“We’re a couple of weeks away from announcing the first sales.”
TA2 is expected to run alongside the NZV8 class this season before a standalone series will be announced for 2021/22.
There has also been persistent suggestion of a trans-tasman event with both the Australian and New Zealand TA2 cars on the same grid.