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NZ Grand Prix confirms March date for Teretonga

 

Teretonga Park, on the outskirts of Invercargill, will again host the New Zealand Grand Prix in 2007. However, due to today's announcement that the A1 - Grand Prix Series will race at Taupo in January, the Grand Prix meeting will be contested at a different time of year.

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Teretonga Park, on the outskirts of Invercargill, will again host the New Zealand Grand Prix in 2007. However, due to today's announcement that the A1 - Grand Prix Series will race at Taupo in January, the Grand Prix meeting will be contested at a different time of year. The 2007 Grand Prix meeting will take place over the weekend of 9/10/11 March. The race will again feature the country's top single seater category, the Toyota Racing Series. A strong category of support classes will include the very popular Parker ENZED NZV8s Series.

The Chairperson of the Southland Sports Car Club's Race Committee, Wendy Jenks, is confident that the timing of next year's Grand Prix meeting will be beneficial to the club. "The new date moves the event away from the traditional summer holiday period when many Southlanders are still out of the province on holiday. I am sure that the new date will prove very successful".

Southland Sports Car Club Inc. President Paul Rosel also said today, "we are proud to be awarded the hosting rights to the New Zealand Grand Prix for the sixth consecutive year. This, combined with having the six top national championship classes racing, means the public have a unique opportunity to see the cream of New Zealand motorsport at Teretonga Park all in one weekend. Demand for tickets will be unprecedented".

Next year will be the sixth occasion that New Zealand's premier domestic motor race is held at the country's southernmost circuit. Many of the previous races have been pulsating affairs. That was definitely the story earlier this year as rain, hail and wind lashed the circuit causing action aplenty in a race that was eventually won by Bahrain based driver, Hamad Al Fardan. Many of the other Grand Prix events held at the circuit have resulted in fantastic spectacles with the result in doubt until the chequered flag was unfurled.

The Toyota Racing Series cars will also battle for the Southland Spirit Of A Nation Cup in one of the preliminary races over the weekend.

The Grand Prix will be one of the highlights of a very full, very exciting programme scheduled for the weekend. The crowd pleasing Parker ENZED NZV8s will return to the circuit as the Ford and Holden drivers continue to wage war. Southern fans will get a double dose of V8 action in March as the programme will also feature the Development Series NZV8s in addition to the premier series. That means two exciting V8 series on the same weekend of motor racing.

The Porsche GT3 Cup cars will also form part of the programme in March. These sleek, purpose - built competition machines have in the past attracted fantastic fields with many of New Zealand's top drivers and several internationals on the grid.

Other classes supporting the Grand Prix event include the Production Racing Series with it's field of cars such as Mitsubishi Lancer EVO's and Subaru WRX's plus a new category - the BMW Mini Challenge. This one - make category will be making it's debut on the country's motor race circuits this coming season and interest is high as the popular Mini's seem certain to provide a great show.

Formula Ford, the proving ground for much of New Zealand's and the world's young racing talent, is the other category on the programme and despite the fact that each year the class has featured some memorable racing, the 2007 line - up has the potential to surpass that.

The meeting will also be part of a hugely significant year for the Southland Sports Car Club at Teretonga Park. The year is the 50th anniversary of the circuit which is New Zealand's oldest. Consequently the Grand Prix weekend will be part of a year that will see much activity and celebration at Teretonga Park.

The event is one of Southland's most significant annual sporting events in terms of economic benefit to the province. Each year the event is believed to bring $1.4 million dollars into the province as large numbers of teams come south to participate in the annual summer series. Added to that benefit is the media coverage the event receives both in New Zealand and overseas.

Crowd support for the event also places the event in the top echelon. Despite the fact that possibly the worst conditions in the circuit's long history blasted the feature day of this year's meeting, the Teretonga crowd was still one of the biggest motor racing crowds in New Zealand last summer.

The Southland Sports Car Club will reveal their revised calendar for the full 2006/2007 season at Teretonga Park in the near future.

Lindsay Beer



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