The closely matched Suzuki Swift Sport Cup challengers are to race at the V8 Supercars meeting on the streets of Hamilton in April for the first time
“Acceptance of the Swifts at this major international motor race meeting is a further step up for the growing one-make class,” said Darren Stevens, motorsport manager for Suzuki New Zealand.
“The standard of racing in the Swift Sport Cup Championship has continued to improve as has the spectacle of the fiercely competitive racing,” he said. “This is reflected in the Swifts becoming part of the programme for the high profile Hamilton event.”
While the 2009/2010 Swift Sport Cup Championship will have concluded just a few weeks earlier in Taupo, the pressure will still be on to perform well before a large crowd at the televised Hamilton street race.
The tricky circuit will be a new venue for almost all of the Swift drivers, but a good line-up of cars is already assured for the Waikato meeting.
Three Swift races are scheduled, all eight laps long, with two events on Saturday, April 17, and one race in the afternoon on the Sunday.
To celebrate the occasion the all new Suzuki Kizashi sedan will make its New Zealand debut at the Hamilton meeting.
The Kizashi will lead the racing Swifts around the street circuit before the start of each race, previewing the new model before it goes on sale.
The 2.4-litre, 138 kW Kizashi is a premium segment model in a medium size section of the market Suzuki has never before entered. The new car is expected to bring new types of customers into Suzuki dealerships.
“It is appropriate that the Kizashi breaks cover at such a significant event which also marks the end of three successful seasons of Swift racing,” said Tom Peck, general manager of marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.
The Kizashi went on sale in the United States in December and arrives in showrooms in both New Zealand and Australia in May, a few weeks after the Hamilton meeting.
Plans are already under way for the Swift Sport Cup series to continue next season for the fourth successive summer, once again using New Zealand’s top selling supermini.
With rigid rules that guarantee no car has a power advantage and a philosophy that the driver matters rather than the size of an entrant’s budget, the Swift Sport Cup is an ideal stepping stone into motor racing.