Local Christchurch race aces Andy Knight and Eddie Bell are raring to go for the first ever visit of the new V8 SuperTourers to the Powerbuilt Tools Raceway over Easter weekend.
Knight and Bell both showed flashes of real speed at the first round at Hampton Downs in February, and are excited as the series heads to the South Island. They sit eighth and ninth respectively in the championship table and are quietly hoping for a leap up the order on their home circuit.
"It's great to have the second round here at our home track," said Knight, who races the Gulf Oil backed Myself and the whole team are working hard to improve on our result from Hampton Downs. Having said that it's never going to be easy with the quality of drivers and teams here."
The list of drivers includes some legendary names - Greg Murphy, Kayne Scott, Steven Richards, John McIntyre and Andy Booth - and the field have an almost countless quantity of national and international titles between them.
Like Knight, Bell reckons the field at the Powerbuilt Tools Raceway will be incredibly close and challenging, but is also hoping to put on a good show at home.
"I certainly don't like to talk up or pre-empt my potential results because anything can and will happen on a race weekend, but of course I'd like to be extremely competitive at home - if we have the pace and car speed we showed at the first round I think the potential for podiums will be there.
"As always there is a lot of support down here, with crew, sponsors, friends and family all local we tend to get a lot more support at our home track."
Triple NZV8 champ John McIntyre, another South Islander, also believes the local supporters are in for a treat when the cars - which each boast 7 litre motors pumping out more than 500 horsepower each - finally take to the challenging track.
"We're going to one of my favourite tracks," he said. "It's going to really suit our cars and provide fantastic racing. To qualify well will be harder than ever because of the technical nature of the circuit. Anyone claiming a perfect lap will have done a great job because with so many turns and varying types of turns, the Powerbuilt Tools Raceway always leaves me feeling like I could have driven better. I am really looking forward to seeing the South Island fans; they will be blown away by the SuperTourers."
Former A1 GP ace Jonny Reid, currently third in the title hunt, is another to be genuinely looking forward to the Christchurch fixture.
"I am really looking forward to heading to Canterbury. With the rebuild of Christchurch underway it is going to be great to race and be part of sharing a positive outlook for the Canterbury motorsport fans.
"The circuit is just awesome to drive. It is a circuit I have missed driving on since the GT3 Cup. The circuit requires strong technical ability and can be one of the toughest for engineers and drivers.
"I am very confident heading to Ruapuna based on our round one performance at Hampton Downs. Since the opening round as a team we have understood many areas of where we can improve. Personally I am confident that International Motorsport will be strong at Ruapuna."