IN a Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship first, four wild-card entries from New Zealand will join the grid when the series competes at Taupo this April.
Carrera Cup will join the Repco Supercars Championship at the ITM Taupo 400 on April 19-21, a full field of Type-992 Porsche GT3 Cup Cars to cross the Tasman in what will be the second round of the 2024 championship.
They will be joined by four New Zealand-based Porsche 992 GT3 Cup Cars run by top outfit International Motorsport, driven by Sam Fillmore, Rick Armstrong, Luke Manson and Matt Whittaker.
While ‘wildcard’ entrants have competed before, this will be the largest group of one-off entrants in any Carrera Cup Australia round.
The Championships’ first trip to New Zealand marks the second time Carrera Cup Australia will have raced internationally.
New Zealand enjoys a large and growing group of Porsche competitors competing in the NZ GT Championship and key sprint and endurance championships on the North and South Islands, including several fielding Porsche 992 GT3 Cup Cars.
The four cars will run as invited entrants at Taupo and will compete in the same specification as all current Carrera Cup entries.
Porsche Motorsport Australia Management visited the Taupo Circuit this weekend for the second round of the SuperSprint Motorsport New Zealand Championship as a recce for the April Supercars event – with the announcement made on the Sky Sports NZ and Fox Sports Australia broadcast.
New Zealand representation in Porsche Motorsport in Australia has a long and significant track record dating back to inaugural Carrera Cup Champion Jim Richards.
Team Porsche NZ and Earl Bamber Motorsport claimed both key titles in 2023 with Marco Giltrap (Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge) and Callum Hedge (Carrera Cup).
BARRY HAY – Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars Australia
“Everyone in the Porsche family is excited about our trip across the Tasman this April.
“The beauty of one-make Porsche competition is that you can drive the same car in Australia as anywhere in the world, so with the number of Porsche 992 GT3 Cup Cars in New Zealand it made sense to throw the grid open to a select group of locals.
“Some of us Aussies hate to admit it, but Carrera Cup Australia has an incredible record of New Zealand success with people like Jim Richards, Fabian Coulthard, Craig Baird and lately, Callum Hedge, coming over and beating the locals!
“It will add to the trans-Tasman flavour of the event and add to the local interest in our NZ debut.”
NATHAN PILCHER – Motorsport Coordinator, Porsche New Zealand
“Interest among Porsche competitors in New Zealand has been high since our Aussie cousins announced they were coming over to race with the ITM Taupo 400, with many asking ‘how can we get on the grid’.
“We have a fantastic and very close working relationship with the team at Porsche Motorsport Australia and they were proactive in working on ways to get some local cars on the grid, to go with the large group of Kiwi drivers already set to be there.
“International Motorsport are one of our most well-respected and known teams, we think they will add to the Carrera Cup grid and give the four guys driving an incredible experience of being part of the top one-make championship in the region.”
Image: Courtesy Tayler Burke, Summerset New Zealand GT