Record entires expected for 2000 season.

RECORD fields are lining up for GT production car racing in Australia, following the expansion to two championship series for 2000. Almost 80 cars were nominated this week to compete in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car ...

RECORD fields are lining up for GT production car racing in Australia, following the expansion to two championship series for 2000.

Almost 80 cars were nominated this week to compete in the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship and the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup, both organised by Brisbane company PROCAR Australia.

The GT Production Car Championship opens its seventh season at Barbagallo Raceway, near Perth, on March 19.

PROCAR is expecting more than 30 cars to compete in the first of eight rounds and, with only Graham Stones¹ Mazda RX7 representing the locals, championship manager Anne Reid says she is delighted so many east coast competitors are making the journey west.

"Even more impressive are the 51 entries indicated for round two in Adelaide on April 8-9. We can only fit 40 cars on the starting grid there, so there's going to be fierce competition even before the races start," Ms Reid said.

Further interest is expected to follow a decision to add two of Australia's performance ³cult² cars, the 300 kiloWatt Holden Special Vehicles Commodore GTS and the 206 kW Subaru Impreza WRX STi, to the list of vehicles approved to compete.

The cars, both capable of around 240 kmh in showroom trim, are expected to contend for outright and class victories.

The Adelaide weekend also will host round one of the new Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup, with entries proposed for up to 28 of the world¹s fastest GT production sports cars, including makes such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche, Viper and Corvette.

³We haven't even officially started the season and already we¹ve got these fantastic fields. It looks like a bumper year for the fans,² said PROCAR chief executive Ross Palmer.

³The Production Car Championship has continued to grow strongly. We are welcoming at least 10 new regular drivers and a number of the latest new road cars, such as the Commodore HSV ClubSport R8 and GTS, Honda Integra Type R, Subaru Impreza WRX Sti and Proton Satria.²

All this year's races in both series will be shown on Network Ten's Trackside program.

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