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NZ Six — high speed at a low cost

11 December 2014


Racing is great, and V8s are better. Combine the two and you’ve got something on your hands that is as addictive as it is bad for your bank balance. The almighty V8 Supercars and the local BNT NZ SuperTourers series are well beyond the means of the ordinary person. Even the costs involved in participating in the Central Muscle Cars, Northern Muscle Cars, and other similar race series can add up alarmingly. This is where the NZ Six series comes into its own — as a grassroots racing series, the six-cylinder cars give all the excitement of flat-out racing for a fraction of the price.

Cars are only really different cosmetically, which keeps racing close

NZ Six is divided into two series — the Holden HQs and the Super Sixes. The Holden HQ series is self explanatory — it’s racing between Holden HQs. The Super Six series highlights the traditional Falcon versus Commodore rivalry. Brent Cooper, the Super Six class captain, explained that the series is intended to be as equal as possible so that results would be dependent upon driver ability rather than knowing how to buy go-fast parts. You can get into an HQ racer from $5K, and a Super Six car for $10–12K, which represents awesome value.

The NZ Six series epitomizes bang-for-buck racing

The HQs all run the 202ci straight-six engine and three-speed manual gearbox, and the only modifications allowed are control extractors, camshaft, and Holley carburettors. The HQ series is also a hit with the ladies — there are four female racers, and the last race meeting at Manfeild saw all three HQ podium places taken by the ladies. Sheryl Hanright is one of these racers, and has been competing since about 2005 in her HQ, which has been around Bathurst in a past life. Despite nearly 10 years of service in flat-out racing, Sheryl’s HQ has never had to be rebuilt, only requiring the bare minimum of maintenance to keep it going.

Sheryl Hanright has been racing her HQ for nearly a decade

Sheryl Hanright has been racing her HQ for nearly a decade

The Super Six sedans represent a step up from the HQs, with VN/VP Commodores pitted against EA/EB Falcons. Using his VN Commodore as an example Brent explains that modifications are, again, at a minimum, with a control-spec exhaust system, air filter, camshaft, head and intake porting. Security seals are added to the engines to ensure that they are not tampered with, as parity is the name of the game. This extends to the control Pedders suspension, and tyres — given the nature of motorsport, NZ Six are lucky to have Nitto tyres as a main sponsor — where a control package is offered. Being more responsive than the HQs, and having the advantage of a locked diff, makes the Super Six an exciting step up from the HQs.

Brent Cooper is Super Six class captain, and enjoys the series’ equality

Ensuring that the interactive racing is as accessible as possible, the NZ Six series is active in both North and South Islands. There were three Super Six racers up from the South Island, and the next round is to be held in January at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch. Up from the South Island was Wayne Christie, who has been racing for almost 23 years. Starting, like most, in the HQs, he built up his Falcon when Super Six was introduced, and hasn’t looked back.

Wayne Christie, along with two other racers, and crew made the big journey to compete up North 

Three competitors made the trek up from the South Island — Wayne and Justin from Christchurch, and Alvin from Otago. It still ends up costing them, once you factor in transport, accommodation, consumables, and all the car parts, but it’s a hell of a lot less than the big-and-angry, full-blown race cars, offers nearly as much fun, and just as much camaraderie. If you’re dead set on competitive racing but don’t have the budget to go all out, then NZ Six could be just the ticket!

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