New Zealand's top selling small car will make a return to the racing calendar with the confirmation of Suzukis Swift Sport Cup series as a support category to the six round V8 SuperTourer championship in 2013.
Famed for its closely fought racing, the nimble 1600cc Suzuki Swift's have preened and readied talent seeking to rise to the top – to V8 SuperTourer level and beyond. That path of progression meant the series fitted the V8 SuperTourer profile through its tier of driver development.
Tasked with the mandate by teams to investigate moving the series to compete alongside the newly established V8 SuperTourers, series co-ordinator Paul Burborough says the discussions mean both parties came to a swift conclusion the two categories should unite.
"The Suzuki Swift Sport Cup is an entry point for aspiring drivers who wish to make a career of competition. And alongside our existing backers like Castrol we can continue to offer valuable scholarship packages to bring the cream to the top and on to the bigger categories such as the V8 Challenge Cup and ultimately, V8 SuperTourers."
Dealer principal of Winger Hamilton, Burborough says the series will resume action with a number of familiar faces steering the category to healthy competition. Supported by Suzuki New Zealand, the automotive manufacturer's backing ensures the series will continue to be aired on television.
"Since the idea was mooted a few weeks ago and discussions began the level of enquiry from potential teams has been dramatic. I've sold one car already and believe more will follow. I'm sure the series will increase in numbers to well beyond what we've had in the past couple of years if the recent discussions are anything to go by."
"Through the likes of Castrol who are keen to continue with the successful scholarship programme they are looking to integrate this with a number of Castrol backed V8 SuperTourer teams. This will add a new level of driver and team mentoring to the package – while everyone is at the same event."
Commitment from a number of teams prior to the final sign-off already accounts for half the field that concluded the 2011/2012 season.
The Suzuki Swift Sport Cup is run solely by a team Burborough has put together with support from Winger, Suzuki New Zealand and Castrol to run Suzukis only endorsed car racing category. This is contrary to an announcement by MotorSport New Zealand today the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup would be part of its premier race championship series.
"It's imperative I clarify that the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup will be racing as part of the six round V8 SuperTourer series in 2013 and beyond," added Burborough.
Chairman of the V8 SuperTourer board Chris Abbott welcomed the small car class to the V8 series:
"We are delighted to have the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup series on board with us. With Central Muscle Cars, NZ V8 Utes and the V8 Challenge Cup, race fans and television viewers will really have something to look forward to at V8 SuperTourer events in 2013.
The calendar for the 2013 season is likely to be confirmed in late October with the first round likely mid to late February 2013.