Defending champion Craig Baird heads a strong field in the 2008/2009 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series which begins at Pukekohe this weekend
Baird, who is also the Australian Carrera Cup champion, will be seeking his fourth NZ GT3 title in a row.
He’ll face strong competition from Australian drivers, former Carrera Cup Australia and Australian Formula Ford champion David Reynolds, and former V8 Supercar racer Rodney Forbes.
Last year's NZ series runner-up and Rookie of the Year, Daniel Gaunt, returns as Baird’s teammate in the multi-car XXX Racing squad.
Gaunt, regarded as one of the best Kiwi open-wheeler drivers of recent years, won two Toyota Racing Series crowns before joining the Porsche championship.
Teenaged Kiwis Jono Lester and Ant Pedersen, are also in the field, along with hard-charging Jody Vincent.
Mark Russ steps from open-wheelers into a Porsche, lining up in a 997 model GT3 run by the Giltrap Group team.
Former professional mountain bike racer, Darryn Henderson, is also in a 997.
In older model 996 cars are series regulars Rob Steele and David Mackrell and Formula Ford graduate, Hugh Gardiner.