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Austrian versus Kiwi in championship decider at Taupō this weekend

This weekend is the fifth consecutive weekend of Super Sprint MotorSport New Zealand championship racing and will decide the 2023 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Champion at Taupō’s Motorsport Park.

Headed by 17-year-old Austrian Charlie Wurz, he has 19-year-old Kiwi Callum Hedge ten points behind as they head into the weekend’s three race decider. There are a total of 90 points up for grabs – meaning third placed Jacob Abel (US) is the only other driver with a mathematical chance of victory.

Taupō is the fifth location for the 2023 series – offering no advantage to the international drivers that get to see it for the first time this week. Previously the venue for the international A1GP series, Taupō is a challenging circuit, with a combination of fast straights and tight corners.

At 17 entries for the weekend, it includes the previous weekend race winners Kaleb Ngatoa (Marton, NZ) and New Zealand Grand Prix winner Laurens van Hoepen (Netherlands). Their inclusion, along with Brit Louis Foster, has injected additional competition to the Wurz vs Hedge title decider.

Action starts with a late Saturday morning qualifying session to decide the starting grid for the afternoon 18-lap race. Sunday continues with a second qualifying and 18-lap race, with the season finale being 23-laps late in the afternoon.

Included in the weekend action are the RYCO 24.7 V8 Ute Championship, for their first outing for 2023. A total of 12 entrants begin this four round season, including defending champion Peter ‘Kaos’ Ward.

The programme also includes the return of the Hi Q Formula First and NAPA Formula Ford open-wheel categories. Providing breath-taking wheel-to-wheel action at last weekend’s Hampton Downs meeting, each category has an extended racing schedule. Formula First will have four races while Formula Ford take to the track for five race sessions.

The BMW Race Driver series brings three sub-categories: Open, 2 Litre and a combined E46/E30 field. Mazda racing add a further 39 cars ranging from RX8s to MX5s.

Friday is a practice day for the teams with the racing from Saturday morning.

Live coverage of the weekend starts from 11:30am Saturday morning to Sky Sport 5 in New Zealand, Fox Sports Australia and Pasifika TV, it will also be available in Europe via motorsport.tv.

Spectator tickets can be pre-purchased online or bought at the gate.

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