Ownership change as SuperTourers, NZV8s push to fix rift

Once bitter rivals the NZ SuperTourers and NZV8s continue to push for permanent unification for the 2015/2016 season

Once bitter rivals the NZ SuperTourers and NZV8s continue to push for permanent unification for the 2015/2016 season. pic: Neville Bailey

A new company is being formed to guide New Zealand’s SuperTourer category toward permanent unification with the NZV8 Touring Cars in the latest development to mend the country’s fractured top level classes.

The company owned by Ray Noonan has sold the SuperTourers with a co-operative subsequently being formed under the direction of respected New Zealand motor racing identity Greg Lancaster.

In a landmark move, both the SuperTourers and NZV8s shared the same grid at the Pukekohe meeting last weekend, where both series concluded their 2014/2015 championships.

“There’s 20 of those cars (SuperTourers) that were built and there are half a dozen of the TLX-spec NZV8 Touring Cars and then there are the older spec TL cars,” Lancaster told Speedcafe.com.

“Somebody needed to pull together the remnants of the old company (NZST) and put the band back together.

“So I was asked to have a look at that. I put together a proposal to acquire the fixed assets, event assets, a substantial parts inventory and the IP of the product and business.

“It needed to happen fairly rapidly. I don’t have any equity stake in it. I’m simply a trustee of the company which has been formed.

“Bob Cunningham (SuperTourers team owner) and Mark Heimgartner (father of V8 Supercars driver Andre) advanced the money to enable the transaction to proceed.

“I’m now about forming a co-operative company whereby the only shareholders will be the car owners.

“They will in the fullness of time stand to receive some rebates on the balance of sponsorships and tyres etc.

“We won’t be promoting our own events (like the previous SuperTourer owners did). We will go back to just being a category.”

More clarity on the future direction will be known on May 2 when the SuperTourer car owners will attend a meeting in Auckland to elect a board and give direction for a way forward.

With the noticeably faster SuperTourers and NZV8s clutching a desire to move to a united grid, a solution on how to tackle parity may not be fully resolved for the 2015/2016 season.

“Parity is a word that is easier said than done,” Lancaster said.

“I suspect that in the 2015/2016 season we may not fully address that but it doesn’t stop us all running on the same grid.

“We prefer to get a technical solution (rather than weight penalties) to balance up the cars, rather than compensate for someone who is 10km/h slower on the main straight.”

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]