The top three ranking Suzuki Swift Sport Cup drivers are returning this summer to challenge for overall honours in the one-make saloon car series
They include 23-year-old Christchurch driver Cody McMaster who is a two times winner of the Swift Sport Cup Championship, and is back to defend his title.
Wanganui high school student William Bamber who, at 15, is one of the youngest drivers in the championship, finished second in the point score last season and is chasing overall victory in the 2009/10 series.
Promising Aucklander Ben Dallas, 18, was third overall last season in the hotly contested category, and is making a return with the avowed intention of doing even better.
McMaster began racking up kart titles from the tender age of seven and was a major force to be reckoned with in the Suzuki Swift class right from the inception of the championship in 2007.
The Canterbury manager of a concrete grinding business is a consistently fast driver whose previous experience will put him in good stead for a championship trifecta.
Meanwhile Bamber is a determined starter out to make a solid impression when the first round takes place at Pukekohe on November 7 and 8.
William finished close behind Cody in the final point score last season, and says the experience gained in the 2008/09 series will be invaluable this summer.
Like McMaster and Dallas, Bamber learnt the early motor racing ropes racing highly competitive karts.
Ben Dallas won the 2008/09 Castrol Suzuki Scholarship and is a former New Zealand KartSport Champion and Formula BMW Scholarship winner.
He won the rounds at Pukekohe and Ruapuna Park last season, and his third ranking in the championship was a fine achievement, especially considering it was his first season racing anything other than a kart.
He is looking forward to the challenges of the opening round. “Pukekohe is a fast circuit and it rewards both commitment and a cool head,” said the Auckland teenager.
Dallas hopes to start the season a little better than last year and is chasing an overall title win in the closely fought production-based saloon car class.
This year’s Swift Sport Cup races are expected to be the closest in the three year history of the event.
“We are delighted the drivers who finished in the top three places in the series point score last year are all returning to contest the new season,” said Paul Burborough, series coordinator for the Swift Sport Cup Championship.