The Stratford Scrappers compete in superstock racing's biggest event this weekend.
The superstock teams championships, motorsport's equivalent of the rugby sevens, will be held over two nights at Arena Manawatu.
Thirteen teams will compete in the event, up one from last season, with teams from as far north as Auckland and as far south as Christchurch, along with one overseas team, the British Lions.
The Scrappers, who last made the final three seasons ago, face the Waikato Wanderers in the first race tonight before taking on the defending champions, the Palmerston North Panthers, later in the race programme.
If the team is one of the top four on points after their two races, they will proceed to the semifinals tomorrow night.
The team had a good warmup last weekend at the Taranaki superstock championship, with Michel Willemsen winning with the aid of his team-mates.
Roydon Collingwood, who is the manager of the team for a second year, was looking forward to the event.
"All the drivers are excited and I believe they are coming into a bit of form. Phil Ogle finished second at the world invitation champs three weeks ago and Michel Willemsen won the Taranaki champs just last weekend among some pretty good company," Collingwood said.
"Another team member, Tony Zehnder, has been performing well while Carl Shearer is improving lap by lap and Wayne Moss is chafing at the bit to go teams racing and can't wait to get into it."
Barry Podjursky is the sixth driver and he brings a wealth of knowledge. "He brings moral support and experience to coaching the younger guys and can also fill in as a driver if required," Collingwood said.
"The Scrappers are in a growth stage and the sponsorship from local businesses is greatly appreciated by all the team members.
"The team is gaining support year by year and with the strength of the superstock class at Stratford Speedway in recent times, it won't be long before the Scrappers are again on the podium."
- Taranaki Daily News
What name would you like to see the Taranaki rugby team known as next year?Related story: Change on cards for our team - no bull