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Upgraded GT3 for NZ series


Porsche will import ten 997 versions of the (11 GT3 for next season’s New Zealand GT3 Cup championship.

March 19, 2007, 4.15pm. The latest Type 997 version of the Porsche GT3 Cup Car will debut on New Zealand racetracks next summer.

The local Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge has continued to use the 996 variant this season as Porsche and MotorSport NZ have planned the transition to the new model which has some significant performance advantages.

Grant Smith, general manager of Porsche importer European Motors announced the introduction of the 997 racer this week.

He said it was planned to introduce ten 997 GT3s to New Zealand with cars arriving in October 2007 for the 2007-2008 summer season. The cars cost $340,000 each (including GST) and are delivered with a spares package and eight additional wheels.

The new cars offer a potential boost to the series. Smith said top drivers progressing into the new cars and the sale of existing 996 cars could see a grid of 25 cars for the GT3 Cup Challenge next season. He said there will be a separate category within the series for drivers of the 996 model.

The 997 model was introduced in the 2005 Porsche Super Cup and then to the Australian and British Carrera Cup Championships at the beginning of 2006.

The slightly more powerful 997 has a 3.6-litre flat-six engine developing 400bhp (294kW) with the most significant upgrades being a Hollinger six-speed sequential transmission, a larger rear wing and the deletion of ABS brakes in favour of a tandem master cylinder racing brake set-up with adjustable bias.

Smith said he expected three or four international drivers to run 997s in New Zealand next summer.

BMWs sweep all before them

March 19, 2007, 4.15pm. BMW took a slean0-sweep of the opening round of the 2007 World Touring Car Championship in Brazil on March 11 and 12.

Schnitzer BMW 320Si driver Jorg Muller (Germany) qualified on pole ahead of young Brazilian Augusto Farfus, defending champ Andy Priaulx (GB) and Portugal’s Felix Porteiro as BMWs swept the top four places on the grid.

In Race 1, Muller led all the way with Priaulx taking second ahead of Farfus and SEAT Leon driver Gabriele Tarquini (Italy).

Race 2 with the top eight finishers starting in reverse grid order saw Farfus take a home victory from grid six ahead of Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Frenchman Yvan Muller (SEAT Leon).

That left the BMW trio – Muller, Farfus and Priaulx – tied in the series lead on 16 points each. Tarquini has nine points.

The next round is at Zandvoort, Holland, on May 6.




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