Two V8 SuperTourers' stars who closely associate their motorsport careers with Manfeild promise the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting will deliver the best racing yet seen from their category.
Greg Murphy and John McIntyre say the debut appearance of the V8 SuperTourers at a full-scale MotorSport New Zealand national championship meeting is a landmark occasion their category plans to approach with full throttle enthusiasm.
Fans will see the 7.0-litre Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons hot-footing optimally at the February 7 to 9 meeting - meaning 200kmh-plus pace and tons of close racing from a high turnout field.
"It's great to be part of it," said Murphy, who identifies that he's really under pressure from all quarters.
He is the class's defending champion, is points leader going into this second round and, not least, a recognised "son of Manfeild" - motivators for an optimum performance.
Primarily, though, it's the opportunity to be part of the biggest and most important domestic national championship circuit-racing meeting in New Zealand that has fired up the field.
"The New Zealand Grand Prix has such a massive heritage and being part of it gives us a chance to show how important we rate as a category and to demonstrate how well we fit into the premier meeting of the domestic season. Especially at meetings also featuring Toyota Racing Series."
McIntyre said it is a golden opportunity for motorsport to move forward, show positivity and put past history to bed.
"We're out to impress."
He's also delighted SuperTourers have found a way back to a circuit that is perfect for their pace.
"Manfeild has provided the best racing we have ever had," he said. "The layout just suits the car particularly well."
What makes Manfeild special? He said because the passing opportunities are unsurpassed, as was reflected by the high-octane action witnessed when the series visited in April 2012.
"I think the cars are pretty exciting at Manfeild, not just to drive but also to watch."
The focus is putting on a good show.
"We've never wanted anything other than to end up back at good meetings like the Grand Prix," McIntyre said.
Murphy has a direct link with the NZGP at Manfeild - before going to Australia and establishing as a tintop star, he had a single seater career that pinnacled with him winning the big race in 1994.
He returned to Feilding the next year for a repeat.
Instead, that year will be remembered for the sight of his Reynard 91D Holden flying off the circuit and into trees - the result of a stuck throttle. He escaped uninjured, though there was still mental anguish: He had a huge lead when the incident occurred.
He has no desire, now, to slip into a Toyota Racing Series car and having a go at "third time lucky".
Setting out to defend the SuperTourers title will be quite enough. The 2013 series went down to the wire and will probably be the same this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News