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<strong>Exciting Field for Opening Round of Golden Homes GT New Zealand Championship</strong>

An exotic 23 car field will compete this weekend at the opening round of the 2023 Golden Homes GT New Zealand Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park circuit, in Cromwell.

Six manufacturers are represented with GT machinery from Aston Martin, Ginetta, McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari spread across two classes – GT4 and Open.

In the GT4 class, no fewer that 7 McLaren 570S cars are entered. Last year’s GT4 champion Nigel Cromie returns and will arguably be a championship favourite. He will be joined by David Cranna, Todd Bawden and David Cremer in their McLaren’s.

Newcomers, Richard Crabb and Rudy Van Het Wout join the championship in their McLaren’s with David Rogers and Brian Green combining in another McLaren having moved out of a Porsche Cayman from last season.

More British cars are represented with last year’s series runner-up Stephen Harrison returning in his striking Aston Martin Vantage, as too will Allan Sargeant in his Ginetta G55. Steve Scoles will debut his new V8 powered Ginetta G56 having raced a G55 last season.

Representing German engineering, Jono McFarlane returns to GT4 in his Mercedes AMG and will be joined by another, that of Glenn Cotterill.

A trio of Porsche Cayman GT4’s will be on track at the hands of John Buchanan, and the pairing of Oliver Saxton and James Paterson. Having won the final race last season, Grant Aitken will debut a new Cayman GT4 RS.

In the Open Class, the field is dominated by Ferrari and Porsche.

Wayne Leach will run his Ferrari 488 Challenge car from last season where he scored a couple of podiums. Stepping up from GT4, there is a Porsche 991 Manthey Racing Cup car for Francois Beziac, with Heremana Malmezac teaming up with Jono Lester in an identical machine under the Chancellor Aedifice racing banner.

Front runners and race winners from last season Paul Southam and Rob Steele re-unite again in their Porsche and will be joined by other Porsche 991 cars from Luke Manson, Rick Armstrong, Paul Pedersen and Marco Giltrap.

“The assortment of GT machinery that we have managed to gather together is just incredible,” says Category Manager, Grant Smith.

“It’s going to be quite a spectacle as the series will offer New Zealand motorsport fans the chance to see global super brands competing against each other on New Zealand’s premier circuits.”

Each round of the GT NZ Championship will feature two 30-minute races along with one 60-minute race with a compulsory pit stop. There will be the option of one or two drivers per car with the 60-minute race also worth double points.

To ensure parity in each of the different classes of racing, there will be a Balance of Performance criteria added to each of the races. The BOP will be implemented during the compulsory pit stop and the length of pit stop will be determined using qualifying times as well as previous race results.

Coverage of the GT New Zealand Championship will be broadcast live on Sky Sport on Saturday from 11am, and 10am on Sunday. It will also be broadcast on TV3 live from 1pm on Sunday.

The 2023 GT New Zealand Championship will consist of a four-round series which commences this weekend Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell. 

This will be followed by the second round with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs on February 3-5, before heading to Taupo on March 17-19. The final round will be at Manfeild on April 14-16. 

Golden Homes GT NZ Championship – Round 1 Entry List

CLASS

DRIVER

CAR

GT4

Stephen Harrison

Aston Martin Vantage

GT4

Allan Sargeant

Ginetta G55

GT4

Steve Scoles

Ginetta G56

GT4

Richard Crabb

McLaren 570S

GT4

Nigel Cromie

McLaren 570S

GT4

Rudy Van Het Wout

McLaren 570S

GT4

David Cranna

McLaren 570S

GT4

Todd Bawden

McLaren 570S

GT4

David Cremer

McLaren 570S

GT4

David Rogers/Brian Green

McLaren 570S

GT4

Jono McFarlane

Mercedes AMG

GT4

Glenn Cotterill

Mercedes AMG

GT4

Grant Aitken

Porsche 718 Cayman

GT4

John Buchanan

Porsche 718 Cayman

GT4

Oliver Saxton / James Paterson

Porsche 981 Cayman

Open

Wayne Leach

Ferrari 488 Challenge

Open

Franoics Beziac

Porsche 911 MR

Open

Heremana Malmezac

Porsche 911 MR

Open

Luke Manson

Porsche 991

Open

Paul Southam / Rob Steele

Porsche 991.2

Open

Rick Armstrong

Porsche 991.2

Open

Paul Pedersen

Porsche 991.2

Open

Marco Giltrap

Porsche 991.2

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