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NZ Racing Cars: 11,500rpm, 230kph, and low cost!

7 April 2016


It’s almost too good to be true when you think about it. How can it be possible to have a race car that pulls 11,500rpm, hits 230kph, and costs you bugger all compared to other main racing series in New Zealand? Well, it looks as though Tony Quinn has the answer with his pint-sized race cars that currently run in Australia — however they made a debut here in New Zealand at the Highlands Festival of Speed. With a great impression made during their debut outing, Quinn has decided that he’ll build 20 or so mini racers for our very own New Zealand series. 

If you haven’t seen these mini race cars, you’re missing out. With fields of over 40 cars at one time and high-revving 16-valve, four-cylinder 1.2-litre motors that output 125hp, in a car that weighs just 450kg, it’s one of the most exciting forms of motorsport one can watch. The most exciting part of the announcement that New Zealand will be getting its own series, is that the Kiwi series will run in Australia’s off season, which means it gives both the Kiwis and the Aussies the chance to compete across the Tasman. 

Mike Sentch, Highlands Motorsport Park’s general manager, says, “The new one-make series will hit the track for the first time in New Zealand with test days at Highlands [on] April 30 and Hampton Downs [on] May 8. Sanctioned by MotorSport New Zealand, the NZ Racing Cars Series will incorporate five rounds, commencing at the ITM 400 V8 Supercar event in Auckland in November 2016, and continuing as part of the following summer’s Premier Motorsport summer season. 

“We have two cars in New Zealand for the test days at Highlands and Hampton Downs. Competitors are invited to register their interest in participating in either test day by emailing A test day fee will apply and includes a briefing, two track sessions, and a debrief with our professional driver Andrew Waite,” Sentch explains.

We might even see Kiwi motorsport superstar Shane van Gisbergen have a pedal in one of the NZ Racing Cars, as he describes them as ‘ace’. 

“I have raced cars all over the world and they are right up there as one of the most exciting cars to race,” says van Gisbergen. “The race-craft skills you learn is what makes these cars a great stepping stone or re-entry into competitive motorsport, from beginners to pros, NZ Racing Cars will suit all. And best of all, being a Trans-Tasman class means we can take it to the Aussies!”

We do enjoy Kiwis sticking it to the Aussies, so as soon as that happens, we’ll keep you informed! Now to convince the boss we need one of these little pocket rockets …