New-look GTP debut

New cars, teams and drivers in an exciting new-look Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship will make their 2000 debut this weekend at Phillip Island, Victoria. The 4.5 km grand prix circuit will host the Century Batteries...

New cars, teams and drivers in an exciting new-look Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship will make their 2000 debut this weekend at Phillip Island, Victoria.

The 4.5 km grand prix circuit will host the Century Batteries GTP 1-Hour Showroom Shootout on Sunday and two 12-lap races on Saturday.

Teams will be joined for the three non-championship events by competitors from the newly-created Century Batteries GTP Nation's Cup series, also making their first appearance.

With last year's fastest supercars now in their own Nations Cup series, five new classes have been designed to allow a fresh squad of competitors to fight for outright victory.

The classes are - AutObarn High Performance Hippies Sports Touring Pennzoil V8 Touring Pennzoil Six-cylinder Touring Poolrite Four-cylinder Touring

Series organiser ProCar Australia chief executive Ross Palmer said the new classes proved the fast-growing popularity of production car racing.

"This is a category for cars that can be bought off the showroom floor, so it's very easy for racing fans to identify with when they see it on the track or on television," he said.

"The new classes create highly relevant groupings, such as V8 and six-cylinder family cars, and preserve the purity of production racing at an affordable level."

A total of 82 models, including some new to the category, are eligible for this season and Palmer is confident of healthy fields when the championship begins in Perth on March 19.

Confirmed new starters entered for Phillip Island include a Holden Commodore HSV ClubSport R8 and Honda's race-bred Integra Type R coupe.

Also new for the season is sponsor Pennzoil, which puts its name to the V8 Touring and Six-cylinder Touring classes, as well as an expanded Trackside television program on Network Ten.

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Series V8SUPERCARS