Excitement is building as the start of New Zealand motor racing's Production GT Series looms at Teretonga Park next month.
The series caters for a wide range of cars and will be fought over four rounds this season - two in the South Island and two in the North Island, whereas last year it was contested over two rounds in the South Island.
Reigning Production GT Series champion, Hamish Ellingham of Napier, is full of enthusiasm for the upcoming season.
"This year will be even stronger than last," he said. "Last year was really good. It was good to travel to a different variety of circuits in the south at Teretonga and Timaru. Four races in the series will give people even more incentive to enter."
Ellingham enjoys the fact that Production GT is a "really open series."
"There are not that many restrictions but the majority of cars are production based. From my perspective last year I met a lot of people who seemed interested. It is good to see Lindsay Dodd getting behind the series and making it work. It is good to have a motivated co-ordinator."
Meanwhile, on the track, Ellingham says his goal is simply to "do the best possible."
Brem Ellingham, Hamish's father, also predicts a great season for Production GT.
Brem sponsored Hamish's championship winning EVO through his Fastway Couriers business and also lent a hand to series co-ordinator, Lindsay Dodd last year.
"It will be better now that there are rounds in both the North and South Islands. That means this year it will be a truly national series. The South Island guys do a great job of organising race meetings, just look at the South Island Endurance Series. That is a real credit to Chris Dunn.
"We can build Production GT into a true support series to either NZV8 Touring Cars and V8 SuperTourers and become a serious series for Motorsport NZ. Brian Budd and Amanda Tollemache, of Motorsport NZ, have been really positive."
Brem is keen to keep helping Dodd. "I'm relatively new to this over the last three to four years and I have learnt a lot. Lindsay has done really well with Production GT to get it to suit everyone and become a fair series. It is quite hard and he has done very well," says Brem. "I can lend Lindsay what I have learnt in business."
The series, which will contest rounds at Teretonga, Timaru, Hampton Downs and Taupo, will comprise two Production GT classes, one for forced induction cars and the other for normally aspirated cars. Production GT cars must retain the manufacturers original chassis and utilise an engine sourced from the same manufacturer as that of the body shell. A Super GT class will also be included giving any machine a home to run without restrictions other than having to run with dot rated tyres.
- © Fairfax NZ News