Two class titles will be decided in this weekend’s fourth and final round of the Golden Homes GT New Zealand Championship at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding.
With three rounds fought out at Highlands, Hampton Downs and Taupo, Porsche driver Marco Giltrap leads the Open Class on 739 points, from Heremana Malmezac on 707, with Luke Manson third on 702 – both also in Porsche machines.
With three races still to run for the season, a number of drivers in the top 6 could mathematically still win the Championship.
Giltrap has had a consistent season to date with a number of podiums across the nine races so far, and despite not managing to clinch a victory this year, he will be eyeing the top step of the podium and to top the championship table by the end of the third race this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to the final round at Manfeild, coming into it in the best position possible, currently leading, however not by much,” said Giltrap.
“I am still looking for my first race win however, the team has given me a great car all series and have stayed consistently on the podium. This weekend we have a change of engineer to Stephen Giles who I have worked with closely throughout my Toyota 86 campaign.
“Stephen has a wealth of experience and we will certainly be pushing for the win this weekend.”
In the GT4 class, Mercedes AMG driver Jono McFarlane leads on 771 from last year’s GT4 Champion, McLaren driver Nigel Cromie who is just 50 points behind on 721. Third is Aston Martin driver Stephen Harrison who is on 670 and could clinch the title if the other two contenders have poor results.
Still an outside chance to win the championship is Grant Aitken in his Porsche Cayman GT4. Aitken sits 150 points behind McFarlane and with 300 points up for grabs over the weekend could be a contender to win.
“The season has been so much fun with great results and a very frustrating DNF,” said McFarlane.
“Nigel has always been in the hunt along with a few other competitors. He’s a great guy on and off the track with us both racing hard but giving each other room.
“I don’t have the pace against Nigel or Todd (Bawden) in the wet but in the dry it should be a great battle over the weekend.”
17 cars will line up in the GT4 class this weekend, with eight cars contesting the Open Class.
The Golden Homes GT NZ Championship will have two 30-minute races and a one-hour feature race at the Manfeild circuit.
Images and Words: Supplied