New cars and new drivers will headline the 2023/24 season of the Summerset GT New Zealand Championship which gets underway at Taupo Motorsport Park this weekend.
An eighteen-car field will line up across two classes with six manufacturers represented with BMW, Ginetta, McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and Ford.
Mercedes-AMG dominates the GT4 class, with three entries. Those being Joel Giddy who finished sixth overall last season. Father and son duo Glenn and Sam Cotterill share another, with James & John Sax in a third.
Two Ginetta’s return again this season, the G55 of Alan Sargeant, and the newer G56 of Steve Scoles which debuted part way through last season, grabbing some wins and podiums along the way.
Giltrap Motorsport will enter a McLaren 570S GT4, to be piloted by scholarship winner Brock Gilchrist, the reigning Toyota 86 Champion.
Also look for the new BMW M4 GT4 of Garth Piesse, run by Mackenzie Motorsport.
In the Open Class, the field is largely ruled by Porsche entries.
The all-new Porsche 992 Cup Cars make their debut in the championship this season.
Four 992’s will line up for round one - Rick Armstrong returns to the championship in one of the new machines. Matt Whittaker will line up in another, having already had success in the South Island Endurance Series over the winter.
Sam Fillmore will race his newly acquired 992, with Luke Manson upgrading from his 991.2 Cup Car he raced last season.
Front runners and race winners from last season Paul Southam and Rob Steele re-unite again in their Porsche 991.2.
Wellington teenager, Regan Scoullar will line-up for a full season having contested one round previously. Having clinched Class B and the overall NZ Porsche Championship earlier in the year in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car, Scoullar will step into a newer 991.2 car.
A number of newcomers will make their debuts in the Open class Championship this season.
Also coming out of the Porsche Championship will be Tony Austin, who will race a Porsche 997.
18-year-old Ayrton Hodson will campaign a Porsche 991.1, stepping up from a season in the Toyota 86 Championship.
New Zealand Rally Championship runner up Raana Horan makes his debut in circuit racing in a Porsche 991.2 car, which was previously raced last season by Paul Pedersen.
Former Toyota 86 competitor Clay Osborne will line up in a Porsche 991 also.
Paul Pedersen was planning to step into his new Mercedes-AMG GT2 for this season, but with the car’s arrival delayed, he will campaign a modified Ford Mustang GT4, to accumulate valuable open class points for this championship campaign.
The Porsche entrants will also be competing for the Porsche Endurance Trophy which was announced by Porsche New Zealand recently. The winner will earn a Porsche Motorsport factory-recognised trophy for their efforts competing in the New Zealand series.
Eligible vehicles include the new 992 GT3 Cup cars, as well as both 991.2 and 991.1 GT3 Cup Cars. In addition, there will be a GT4 class trophy for all models of the Cayman GT4 and GT4RS running to the regulations of the GT NZ Championship.
The championship will see two 30-minute races and a single 1-hour feature race held over the weekend, with Sunday’s racing broadcast live on Sky Sport.
The 2023/24 Summerset GT New Zealand Championship will consist of a five-round series over five months commencing November 17-19 at Taupo Motorsport Park in Taupo.