BNT V8s open up for larger grids

The NZ summer series of racing is about to get underway, so let’s take a look at how the BNT V8’s line up for the 2020/21 season. 

Early this year it was announced that there would be changes to the upcoming season. 

The first of which is the loss of the New Zealand Touring Car Championship title which will instead be awarded to the TCR series when their championship kicks off.

The series has also loosened technical restrictions on competing cars and added a class for the TTV8’s (Trans-Tasman V8’s). 

The hope is that the changes will bring more competitors into the series, creating bigger and more competitive grids, by allowing a wider range of cars to enter.

The changes include easing the rules surrounding which cars can compete, as well as relaxing restrictions on gearboxes, diff, brakes, and suspension packages. 

The TTV8’s is based on the TA2 series currently racing in Australia, with the cars expected to run with the same specifications. 

This season will see the TTV8’s run as their own class within the BNT V8’s, with a dedicated points system for the cars within the class, while moving to become a series of its own in coming years.  

The series also see a significant reshuffle of the race formats. 

Moving to a marble draw deciding the starting line-up for each of the two shorter races, which will then decide how they line up on the grid for a one-hour race on the Sunday. 

The points will be weighted towards the longer race, which will also feature a compulsory pit stop, the stop time varying car to car, determined by their speed. 

BNT V8’s have seen a decline in the number of cars competing, over the last few years. 

Narrow car specifications limiting the number and types of cars able to enter, as well as the cost to compete, meant it often hasn’t been the first choice for many up and coming drivers. 

Many aiming to race in Supercars have instead choosen to move to Australia, competing there. 

Though to its credit, even with small grids, there has been some great battles. Even becoming somewhat of a proving ground for up and coming Australian drivers like Jack Smith who would come to NZ through the summer to race during the Australian off-season. 

Some NZV8 teams elected to compete in the North and South Island Endurance series’ as a warm up for their championship. 

Lance Hughes drove with Simon Evans in the NZ Endurance Champs, taking home a Class win at Highlands Motorsport Park over the weekend.

The BNT V8’s season will hold all its rounds on the North Island circuits, kicking of the series at Pukekohe on the 4-6th of December. 

Samantha Hine

With an interest in motorsport since I was young, and a passion for journalism I have been able to combine the two while also studying for a Bachelor of Communications and a Diploma in Journalism at Wintec.

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