The Mazda Pro8 New Zealand Series and Australian RX8 Cup have announced a new partnership that will begin in 2024, with a Trans-Tasman drive up for grabs for the winner of each championship.
Ash McConchie, from the Pro8 NZ series, and RX8 Cup owner Ric Shaw have developed the plan, having experienced competition on both sides of the Tasman in 2023.
McConchie was joined by Kristopher Mackie and Jarrod Parmenter in an RX8 Cup entry in the 2023 Bathurst 6-Hour, while Ric Shaw and Tom Shaw attended the Highlands Motorsport Park round of the Pro8 Series.
McConchie also competed in Round 2 of the 2023 RX8 Cup at Winton Raceway last March.
“The cars are quite similar, both running Nankang tyres, so the drivers will adapt easily, and new race tracks are always fantastic,” said Ric Shaw.
“In 2023, our 2022 Championship winner, Tom Shaw, raced with the Pro8 series at Highlands, and we started talks on how to aid the drivers in crossing the ditch and racing in each series.”
“We have Ash racing with us again at Phillip Island in February in a Ric Shaw Racing car, where he will attend our 2023 Presentation awards night.
That plan has come to fruition, with overseas drives now a real possibility for competitors in each series.
“Our plan is simple: to aid the drivers in experiencing as much RX8 racing at as many tracks as possible and with the ease of international team support,” said McConchie.
“Other than the winner’s prize, drivers from both series can travel during the season and race each other’s cars, making the process simple and cost-effective.”
The 2024 RX8 Cup Series kicks off at the famous Phillip Island on February 10/11, while the Pro8 New Zealand series continues at Levels Raceway in Timaru on January 27/28.