John Hepburn along for ride in a Porsche
National champion John Hepburn has raced just about everything around Level but he could go his quickest yet around the Timaru circuit tomorrow.
The 48-year-old has taken up a last-minute offer to drive in the three-hour endurance race and will pilot a Porsche for the first time.
"The closest I've come to a Porsche was I owned a VW when I was 16 but I am hoping it is better than that," he said.
Hepburn said he hadn't intended to compete but received an email from series organiser Chris Dunn, offering a co-drive with Coromandel's Todd Murphy in the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car.
He will get behind the wheel today for the first time.
Hepburn said while it wasn't on his "bucket list", he was happy to tick it off.
"I always enjoy competing and again it is something different," he said.
The Porsche will have a top speed of around 250kmh down the back straight and will complete a lap in just over a minute. Expect Hepburn to get everything he can out of the car.
In his time, Hepburn has also swung on a sidecar around Levels, won a national Super Truck title in a Bedford, driven a Monaro, NZV8 and Evo.
The three-hour race should be a close contest and the winner is likely to come from the exotic GT Class.
Series leader Paul Kelly teams up with Australian V8 Supercar driver David Reynolds, fresh from a strong showing at Bathurst. Napier's Simon Ellingham, also in a Porsche 997, will be joined by defending Australian GT Series champion Klark Quinn.
Aucklanders Matt and Dwayne Carter, in their Falcon V8 Supercar, should be in the mix after putting on a great show at Ruapuna only to have their race thwarted after a late tangle.
The class 2 will see Timaru rally champion Chris West join Andrew Simms in an Evo 9 while locals Steve Parker and Matt Jackson are teaming up in a Honda S2000.
There is also a one-hour race featuring an extended grid of 42 cars.
- © Fairfax NZ News