Experienced automotive figure Grant Smith has been announced as the inaugural category manager for TCR New Zealand.
Smith has been appointed by TCR Australia promoter, the Australian Racing Group, which was recently awarded commercial rights to New Zealand’s TCR series through subsidiary ANZ Motorsport Group.
He has worked in the automotive industry for over four decades across New Zealand, Germany, and Hong Kong, including a recent stint as Porsche’s general manager in the latter.
Smith held a similar role for Porsche in New Zealand for around a decade, during which time he introduced the country’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series.
“I am really excited to be part of the TCR New Zealand Championship,” said Smith.
“It’s a great opportunity to launch a brand-new category of motor racing into New Zealand which has amazing potential to grow quickly.
“The great thing about TCR is that it is a worldwide category with global technical rules in which ultimately the best drivers will succeed. And the balance of performance means that anyone can fight for the wins regardless of the brand they are driving.
“TCR New Zealand will offer competitors and investors alike a wonderful opportunity to get involved in the premier touring car championship in New Zealand, and the opportunity to compete worldwide.”
ARG director Matt Braid said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Grant Smith to the TCR New Zealand team.
“Grant’s appointment was a high priority for us, and it’s great to have someone who is so well credentialed in the industry to spearhead the program in New Zealand.
“There is a lot to do in a short space of time, however, we are confident that the globally-recognised TCR product is the right fit for New Zealand, and that Grant is also the perfect fit for the task at hand.
“We are looking forward to working closely with him on all facets of the New Zealand championship, including the creation of a robust calendar and a strong entry list for the first season.”
The first season of TCR New Zealand is set to start in early 2020, featuring a mixture of standalone events and rounds with the MotorSport NZ Premier Race Championships, with a calendar currently in the works.
TCR Australia Round 3 will be held at The Bend on July 12-14.