GT

NZ: Porsche GT3 Cup round 5 preview

Which way will the battle for Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup series honours swing this weekend? That's the question on the lips of fans of the country's fastest tin-top series on the eve of the fifth round at Chrischurch's Powerbuilt Raceway at ...

Which way will the battle for Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup series honours swing this weekend? That's the question on the lips of fans of the country's fastest tin-top series on the eve of the fifth round at Chrischurch's Powerbuilt Raceway at Ruapuna Park this weekend.

Former Christchurch but now Hamilton-based driver Ross Rutherford continues to lead both the overall and the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge points standings after taking over the mantle of race winner at the Timaru round when series pace-setters Matt Halliday and Craig Baird tangled then ran foul of a tyre regulation.

Both fought back at the Teretonga round of the 2004/05 series last weekend, Baird qualifying on pole and winning Sunday's two races, Halliday joining him on the front row of the grid and winning Saturday's incident-shortened 50 minute twilight enduro.

Rutherford however retained the lead in the overall points standings and heads to Christchurch's Powerbuilt Raceway with a seven point lead over Baird and a 19-point buffer on Halliday.

Rutherford, the 37-year-old son of 60's racing identity Ron Rutherford, did very well at the second round of the 2004/05 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup series at Powerbuilt Raceway in late November and is again expected to be the top 'resident' New Zealand driver in the category on the weekend.

Both Craig Baird and Matt Halliday were back to their best at last weekend's series round at Teretonga however and Saturday's 50 minute evening enduro looks set to be another cat-and-mouse affair between the two professional drivers.

In terms of the Australia vs New Zealand competition the news is all good for the local side with the 'home' team leading the 'visitors' 1245 points to 814.

Ross Rutherford also retains his lead in the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge for drivers 35 years of age and over with Aucklander Dean Fulford in second place and Christchurch prestige car dealer Rick Armstrong in third.

This weekend's round of the 2004/05 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup series at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Raceway at Ruapuna Park shares top billing with the new Toyota Racing Series for 'wings-and-slicks' single-seaters. Also on the programme are rounds of the New Zealand Tier 2 V8 Touring Car, New Zealand Production Racing and New Zealand Pro 7 series.

Qualifying gets underway at 10 am on Saturday morning with racing due to start at 1.30 pm. On Sunday action at the track is due to start at 9.30am and finish with the final Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup race which is due to start at 4.05pm.

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Craig Baird , Matt Halliday
Teams Toyota Racing