Morris to join Aussies in Trans-Tasman fight

'The Dude' joins Australian contingent in six-round series versus the Kiwis Trans-Tasman relations will be put to the test this summer when the best Carrera Cup drivers from Australia and New Zealand take each other on in the inaugural...

'The Dude' joins Australian contingent in six-round series versus the Kiwis

Trans-Tasman relations will be put to the test this summer when the best Carrera Cup drivers from Australia and New Zealand take each other on in the inaugural Porsche Trans-Tasman GT3 Cup series in New Zealand.

Australian-based drivers Jim Richards, Paul Morris, Charlie O'Brien, Russell Wright, Klark Quinn and Jack Crocker are part of an international line-up confirmed for the six-round Porsche Trans-Tasman GT3 Cup series to be run in New Zealand in late 2003 and early 2004.

Seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Richards, who currently leads the Australian Carrera Cup series, confirmed his participation this week and is looking forward to 'coming home' to New Zealand this summer.

Morris, who drives a Sirromet Wines-backed Holden in the V8 Supercar series, will drive one of Lyall Williamson's International Motorsport NZ machines in his Porsche racing debut.

The Gold Coaster formerly drove for Williamson in the days of the Diet-Coke BMW squad in Super Touring racing and has international experience, ranging from Indy Lights in America to touring cars around the globe.

Up to 10 international drivers are expected to compete against New Zealand's top Porsche drivers including Matt Halliday, Kevin Bell, Brett Riley, Paul Pedersen, Andrew Bagnall, Mike Weeks, Ross Allan, Rick Armstrong, and Dean Cockerton.

Halliday will return to contest the series after spending this season in the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup which supports the FIA GT and European Touring Car Championships. He raced a Porsche GT3 Cup car at the Carrera Cup support races at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

Featuring a full field of the tried and proven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars purposely built by Porsche in Germany for racing worldwide, the series will be the main support to the New Zealand V8 Championship Series in 2003/2004.

The first round of the series will be at the Placemakers V8 International meeting at Pukekohe on November 8/9. Up to 20 911 GT3 Cup cars are expected to line up on the grid for this meeting making it the biggest field of GT3 Cup cars ever assembled in New Zealand.

The structure of the Trans-Tasman GT3 Cup series will be based on the successful Carrera Cup Australia format and will see three races of 20-minute duration over the weekend, and, at minimum, two of the meetings will feature a one-hour endurance race, which will possibly be staged at twilight.

In the spirit of true competition, all engines, gearboxes and the like are sealed, meaning that teams and drivers cannot make their own modifications and, in turn, that produces close, even, competition among all of the competitors.

The second round of the series continues at Levels in Timaru on January 10/11, followed by Teretonga in Invercargill on January 17/18, Ruapuna in Christchurch on January 24/25, Manfield in Fielding on January 31/February 1, and the last of the six rounds will be held at Pukekohe on February 14/15.

Six of the new 2004-model 911 GT3 Cup cars will be arriving in New Zealand during December, increasing the field size for the Summer Series meetings to 26.

-cca-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Matthew Halliday , Andrew Bagnall , Jack Crocker , Jim Richards , Paul Morris , Klark Quinn , Kevin Bell , Dean Cockerton
Teams Williams