Speedway fans to be treated with new revamped racing series in Upper Hutt

A new motor racing series five years in the making is finally starting to take off in Upper Hutt, but don’t expect to see just one or two types of cars out on the short circuit.

Marty Smith has already signed up his 1989 Subaru Legacy for the event, although he admits the unknown territory is a little bit out of his comfort zone.

"The concrete walls are a challenge," he said.

"We don't really have them out on the rally stages!"

But if you thought his car looked out of place on the track, Jaron Olivecrona's V12 monster is an even stranger sight.

The car is the real deal too - with an engine designed by none other than Formula One Kiwi Brendon Hartley's brother.

"His brother Nelson has built and assembled the whole engine," Olivecrona said.

"Everything inside of it, Nelson has custom made - literally everything."

Olivecrona said he can't wait to swing his car sideways around the Upper Hutt Speedway as part of a revamped motor series, set to cater for every kind of petrol head.

"To bring drifting to Wellington, D1NZ bringing it there – it's something pretty special."

Essentially, organisers are transforming the speedway by adding a tarmac section to the dirt track, allowing it to cater for rally cars, drifters, UTV's, and even two wheelers - all at the same event.

The series is much like the one held last year inside Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Work is well underway with the event to take place in mid-January and with over 140 entrants already confirmed, the series is looking to expand throughout several regions across New Zealand.

With over 140 entrants already confirmed, the series is looking to expand throughout several regions across NZ. Source: 1 NEWS



Watch: 'I'll give it a red-hot crack!' Meet the rookie Kiwi driver looking to make his name in upcoming Toyota Racing Series

The New Zealand motor racing series that helped launch Kiwi Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley's career has become hot property, with some of the world's best young driver's descending on the country over the next few weeks to compete.

Up against them, three young Kiwis contesting the upcoming Toyota Racing Series, including Reid Harker who will for the first time in his young career compete in single-seater racing.

For Harker, every moment in his Toyota Racing FT50 is like living a dream except the dream is flying past him at well over 200 km/h.

"No excuses," he said.

"I'm going to go out there and give it a red hot crack!"

Harker's first crack in single-seaters included a shake down at Hampton Downs this week, four weeks before the first official round of the TRS in Christchurch.

The 21-year-old Aucklander is slowly getting used to the drastic change after being elevated from the Toyota 86 series.

"These cars are fantastic they're very, very quick," he said.

"You've got the aerodynamics on them which makes them pretty fast around the corners."

To help with that switch, Harker's taking tips from a man very familiar to racing fans; Paul Radisich has driven everything in his time - now he's helping drive the next generation.

"When you're racing saloon cars or touring cars compared to single-seaters, it's completely different," Radisich said.

"You're vision is different, you're down on the ground and your head's buffeting around."

But Harker's mentoring unit doesn't stop there.

Harker's race chief spent a decade from the late 90s as the engineering boss of the McLaren Formula 1 team.

"I like getting back into the nitty gritty- everything from sweeping the floors, engineering cars, managing teams and drivers," Stephen Giles said.

"It's the best thing on this side of the world for them to get a good comparison where they stand against international competition."

Harker's getting ready to face the best young drivers from Europe and North America before the end of January, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the TRS' first champion - Brendon Hartley.

And Radisich believes he can do it.

"He's got talent," he said.

"I think it's like most things - it's very hard to speed people up, it's easier to slow them down, he's one of those kids."

Reid Harker won't do it on his own though, with a Kiwi motorsport legend guiding him off the track as well. Source: 1 NEWS

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