TA2 Muscle Cars are bound for New Zealand in 2024 for a two-round Trans-Tasman Challenge. They will race at Euromarque Motorsport Park on February 9-11 and the following weekend at Tony Quinn's Highlands International on February 16-18.
It's expected up to eight Australians will venture to the South Island and join their NZ TA2 Muscle Car counterparts at the respective Lady Wigram Trophy and New Zealand Grand Prix events. Both will be televised by Sky Sport New Zealand and Fox Sports/Kayo Australia.
It will be the first time TA2 Muscle Cars will race as a stand-alone category, on what are regarded as two of New Zealand's premiere race meetings.
Australian regulars Mark Crutcher, Paul Hadley, Graham Cheney, Anthony Tenkate, Peter Robinson, Greg Keam and current series leader Dylan Thomas have committed to the Challenge, with the eight TA2 regulars that compete in New Zealand's Super V8 series.
The local lineup will include Peter Ward who has previously raced in Australia, former NZV8 Utes Champion Brett Rudd, Steve Ross, Andrew Turner, Andrew Sinclair, Maurice Shapley and ex-speedway racer John Roberts.
Former NZ V8 Ute Champion Paul Manuell distributes the TA2 PBR spec cars and components in New Zealand and will service the category at both events.
TA2 founder Peter Robinson is a New Zealander. His will return to his home country with his recently purchased Dodge Challenger, the car formerly run by Nathans Herne. It will remain in New Zealand for future events.
“This is an important step in our strategy to develop TA2 NZ as one of the primary V8 touring car series. The feedback from both competitors and fans is this is the best bang for buck around and the potential for ongoing Trans-Tasman events in NZ and Australia gives unlimited opportunities for the future,” said NZ category manager Gary Lathrope.
Australian category manager TA2 Craig Denyer is enthusiastic for the events. “This two-round series is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and enthralling in NZ Motorsport to launch TA2 racing in New Zealand and rekindle the Trans-Tasman motorsport rivalry embedded in the DNA of New Zealand and Australia motor racing history.
“Gary and Paul Manuell have done a great job in pulling these two events together and we're looking forward to welcoming all the NZ competitors to the TA2 family.
“All our drivers will love the experience of competing at such two high profile events and again this our chance to prove again why New Zealand has only had one Formula One world champion and Australia has had two,” Denyer added.