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Trans Tasman TA2 drawcard for New Zealand Grand Prix

Posted on 28 November 2023
Trans Tasman TA2 drawcard for New Zealand Grand Prix

A two round Trans-Tasman Challenge for TA2 Muscle cars will be held in February next year at Euromarque Motorsport Park in Christchurch and Tony Quinns Highlands International Motorsport Park circuit at Cromwell, near Queenstown, both in New Zealand’s South Island.  It’s expected up to eight Australian competitors will cross the ditch to join the NZ TA2 Muscle car field at the Lady Wigram Trophy event at Christchurch February 9/11, and the New Zealand Grand Prix at Highlands International Motorsport Park February 16/18. Both events will be televised by Sky Sport New Zealand and Fox Sports/Kayo Australia.

This will be the first time TA2 Muscle Cars will race as a stand-alone category on what will be two of New Zealand’s premiere race meetings.

TA2 regulars Mark Crutcher, Paul Hadley, Graham Cheney, Anthony Tenkate, Peter Robinson, Greg Keam and current series leader Dylan Thomas have already signed up for the Challenge, joining the field of eight TA2 cars already racing in New Zealand’s Super V8 series. 

New Zealand competitors include demolition expert Peter Ward, well known in racing circles on both sides of the Pacific, along with ex NZV8 Utes Champion Brett Rudd and Muscle Car regulars, Steve Ross, Andrew Turner, Andrew Sinclair, Maurice Shapley with the ex-speedway Racer John Roberts rounding out the Kiwi line up with 2 cars.  Former NZ V8 Ute Champion Paul Manuell, who partnered Nathan Herne to a podium in this year’s TA2 King of the North event in Darwin, distributes the TA2 PBR spec cars  and components in New Zealand and will service the category at both events.

For TA2 founder Peter Robinson, it will be a return to his home country, and he’s just purchased Nathans Herne’s front running Dodge Challenger for the trip with the intention of leaving it in New Zealand for future events.

Gary Lathrope, category administrator for the NZ TA2 Muscle Car Series is excited about the growth and development of TA2 as a main stream V8 touring car series for NZ fans.

 TA2 National Category Manager Craig Denyer is also excited about the potential for future events in New Zealand. 


Craig Denyer, TA2 Muscle Car Series Australia Category Manager 

“This 2-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. The LADY WIGRAM Trophy event at Christchurch is a major New Zealand motor racing title, having previously been won by Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Frank Matich and Graham McRae, plus Highlands International Motorsport Park is a stunning layout for the New Zealand International Grand Prix round  - 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. Kiwis versus the Aussies Bring it on”

Gary Lathrope, NZ TA2 Muscle Car Series Category Administrator

“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. To launch the TA2 Muscle Car Trans Tasman Challenge at such high-profile events in February is a great bonus and I’m sure we will turn on a great show for the fans, plus prove again to the Aussie drivers that NZ is the birthplace of real touring car talent.”

Dylan Thomas, CXC Racing Ford Mustang 
“ I am very excited to be heading over to the South Islands of New Zealand next year. It is going to be an awesome two rounds competing at some of New Zealand’s well known race tracks. I am very excited to race at Highlands motorsport park as it is a world renowned track and it is something that from a far looks incredible to drive.”