International recognition from Porsche AG and full championship status from MotorSport New Zealand have confirmed New Zealand's Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge as one of the country's premier motor racing series.

Close, exciting racing has been a feature of the Porsche GT3 Cup car-based series since the inaugural Trans-Tasman Porsche GT3 Cup Series two years ago, a fact now officially recognised by both Porsche AG and MotorSport New Zealand.

From Porsche AG has come 'Challenge' status, meaning that the New Zealand series is now on a par with GT3 Cup-based series in Italy and Holland.

MotorSport New Zealand has also recognised the validity of the series by conferring full championship status.

This season the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship series will again join fellow Tier 1 drawcards, the Parker ENZED NZ V8 Championship and the Toyota Racing Series Championship on the Mike Pero Motorsport Series 'tour.'

The Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship will also be one of the headline acts at the Lady Wigram Trophy meeting at Christchurch's Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park late in January.

Full date and venue details are;

Rnd 1 Nov 04-06 2005 Pukekohe Park Raceway Pukekohe

Rnd 2 Nov 25-27 2005 Powerbuilt Int. Raceway (Ruapuna Park) Christchurch

Rnd 3 Jan 13-15 2006 Teretonga Park Invercargill

Rnd 4 Jan 20-22 2006 Timaru International Motor Raceway (Levels) Timaru

Rnd 5 Jan 27-29 2006 Powerbuilt Int. Raceway (Ruapuna Park) Christchurch

Rnd 6 Feb 17-19 2006 Manfeild Autocourse Feilding

Rnd 7 Mar 17-19 2006 Taupo Motor Racing Circuit Taupo

Rnd 8 April 21-23 Pukekohe Park Raceway Pukekohe (V8 Supercar meeting)

As part of its on-going commitment to the series it created, Porsche importer European Motors has been working with MotorSport New Zealand to make the racing even closer and more exciting.

To this end there is now a 'class-within-a-class' for the original Porsche GT3 Cup cars imported in 2001 and 2002.

Class A will cater for cars built in the 2003 and 2004 model years, Class B for cars built in the 2001 and 2002 years.

Announcing the details of the new series, European Motors' General Manager Grant Smith said that the Porsche factory's decision to confer Challenge status on the series was an honour for everyone involved and full MotorSport New Zealand championship status was 'the icing on the cake.'

"It's nice when so much hard work by so many people is recognised, particularly when it backs up the anecdotal feedback we have been getting since we set the series up. Right from the start we've had fantastic support from the drivers and the fans and with our 'foundation' if you like now officially recognised here and abroad we can plan our next moves with a fair degree of confidence."

Domestic motor racing has been riding the crest of a wave of popularity of late and Kerry Cooper, CEO of motorsport promoter The MotorSport Company, says that he is looking forward to another 'blue riband' season from the Battery Town-backed Porsche GT3 Cup cars.

"The Mike Pero Motorsport Series is about the latest and greatest quality cars and that's what European Motors will bring to it with the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship series. "

Cooper confirmed that the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship series will be one of three accorded 'Super Licence' status, the others being the Parker ENZED NZ V8 Championship for Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons, and the Toyota Racing Series Championship for Toyota-powered Tatuus single-seaters.

Joining these three categories at all the key meetings will be the Formula Ford Championship and the Production Racing Series Championship.

Battery specialist Battery Town returns as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship naming rights sponsor, with spokesman Paul Eden, the Marketing Manager of parent company HCB Technologies, saying that the company is delighted to again be involved.

"The 04/05 series provided excellent racing and exposure to our Battery Town brand which now has 110 nationwide Battery specialists and Auto Electrical technicians. The synergies between the Porsche brand, Battery Town and the battery brand Hella Endurant batteries are similar as they are renowned for quality, reliability and technical excellence so from a marketing and promotional point of view our involvement is a great fit."

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