Suzuki Swifts To Share Limelight

Press Release – Suzuki

Suzuki Swifts will share the limelight with V8 Supercars at the ITM 400 motor race meeting on the streets of Hamilton in April.
PHOTO BY: Geoff Ridder

Suzuki Swifts To Share Limelight With V8
Supercars At Hamilton Street Race Meeting

Suzuki Swifts will share the limelight with V8 Supercars at the ITM 400 motor race meeting on the streets of Hamilton in April.

The Swift Sport Cup national championship has been so successful this season that the frisky little Suzuki’s have been selected to race at the international meeting.

Along with the feature V8 Supercars, the New Zealand V8s and V8 Utes, the Swifts will be one of only four categories of racing at Hamilton.

The biggest ever field of Suzuki Swifts are expected to line up at Hamilton which will also be the first time the closely-matched Swifts have been televised live on TV3.

At least 18 of the 1.6-litre Swifts are entered, including the return of Christchurch driver Cody McMaster, a two times winner of the Swift Sport Cup series.

Twenty-two-year-old Cody had to withdraw from the 2009/2010 championship due to health reasons, but has recovered and is back to challenge newly crowned William Bamber, the talented 16-year-old Wanganui lad who clinched this season’s championship at Taupo on March 21.

McMaster, will also have to contend with Ben Dallas, the 19-year-old Aucklander who finished runner-up in the championship, close behind Bamber.

There will be other champions in the Swift field. Martin Short, 19, from Hamilton, won the Formula Ford championship recently and is racing the new Castrol Scholarship sponsored Swift.

Short began karting in 2002 and graduated to Formula Ford in 2007. He has competed in rounds of the Australian Formula Ford championship and raced at the Australian Grand Prix meeting last year.

Hamish Cross and Jason West, who each took part in one round of the Swift series this season, are returning to race. The grid will also include two young ladies, Katherine Collins (Christchurch) and Amy Vincent (Karaka).

Seventeen year old Amy has raced quads and motorcross bikes and follows in the wheeltracks of her racing brother, Andrew, who is a prominent driver in the Formula First open wheeler class.

Stephen Vuleta, Event Director for V8 Supercars New Zealand, said, “It’s great to have the Suzuki brand and the Swift Sport Cup as part of our support programme.

“I am personally very interested in seeing the guys tackle this tricky circuit – a circuit that none will be used to,” he said.

The Swift will test and qualify on the street circuit on the Friday, and there will be two eight lap races on Saturday and a third eight lap event during early afternoon on the Sunday.

“The Swift Sport Cup championship races have been delayed telecast throughout the summer but the live broadcast for Hamilton is a clear indication of the growing importance of the class,” said Darren Stevens, Motorsport Manager for Suzuki New Zealand.

“Not only is the championship well known for its close racing, but it also attracts many young drivers into motor sport,” he said. “The first and second placegetters this season are both promising youngsters still in their teens.”

The Hamilton street race will be run over the weekend of April 16-18, and the Swift Sport Cup cars are also scheduled to compete in an endurance event at Hampton Downs in July.

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