The New Zealand Touring Car Championship kicks off in just over two weeks time and there has been little news on the new series, so we thought it was time for an update.
Speaking with series organisers V8 Superfans can confirm some new details about the series, including weekend formats, the TV deal, the new class system and more.
There will be a regrouping of classes with the V8ST and TLX cars forming Class One and the TL cars forming Class 2. Class 1 will be on one grid with Class 2 behind them in their own grid.
There is also a new class labeled ‘Invitation’ which will run with the Class One competitors, however they will not be eligible for points. We will release more details on this as they become available.
There will be no Friday track activity for the NZ Touring Cars, meaning their first on track session will be a 30 minute practice session on Saturday morning, followed by qualifying, then the race. Then the 2 races on the Sunday.
The Taupo race format has been set as Race 1 will be a 12 lap rolling start with the grid determined by the fastest lap set in qualifying. Race 2 will be a 14 lap rolling start with the grid determined by the Second fasted time in qualifying. Race 3 will be a 20 lap standing start with a compulsory pit stop (Tyre off, Tyre On) for Class one. The Race 3 grid will be determined by the combined points of Race 1 & 2, however it will be a reserve top 6 for Class one.
The TV deal for the new series will see 2-3 week delayed coverage on TV3’s CRC Motorsport and no live coverage of the event. The delayed coverage allows extra ‘stories’ to be added in and increased the overall quality of the coverage.
“All the round are televised events, and they will be on TV3 approximately 2 to 3 weeks after each round, so it won’t be live” Owen Evans told V8 Superfans.
Evans also ruled out the possibility of live coverage of the racing.
“There is obviously a cost to run live.”
“If you run delayed you’ve got options of putting more things into the program to make the program more interesting.”
Evans also confirmed that the series will compete on the Dunlop tyre similar to that of the tyre V8 Supercars use.
The entry list for round one is not 100% confirmed at the moment, however we do know Andre Heimgartner will run in the NZTC series, provided there is no date clashes with his V8 Supercars duties, and that he will not be competing in the first round at Taupo. You can find a draft Entry list on our Round 1 Event page here.
Evans confirmed that there had been a number of enquiries from Australia wanting to get some miles now that they are using the similar tyre.
“We’ve had quite a bit of enquiries from Australia to be honest. Now we’re running on the Dunlop tyre a lot of the guys are quite keen to race in New Zealand.” Said Evans
We will have more information on the championship in the next week or two as MotorSport NZ releases the championship articles.
V8 Superfans NZ will have all the latest on the series when it kicks off in Taupo, however in the meantime you can check out our event page for all the weekend info, including ticketing, onboard laps, track maps, entry lists, support categories and more.