Biggest NZ grid of 991s set for Highlands

Highlands Motorsport Park will see what could be the largest gathering of racing Porsche 991s when Speed Works first event of the new year gets underway next month, and the grid will feature one of New Zealand’s brightest young stars.

Toyota 86 and NZ F1600 champion Callum Hedge will debut his ex-Tim James 991 and will be joined at the meeting by at least five more cars, with a further two likely entrants bringing the 991 portion of the South Island Porsche Series to a whopping eight cars. And they’ll be in action a week after Highlands too, when the Speed Works championship hits Teretonga.

Hedge has been racing in Australian Formula Ford this season, finishing fourth in a hotly-contested battle, but is set to switch to Porsches for the next stage of his career. He’s already tested the car and enjoyed it and will be one of the favourites down south despite taking on some very experienced drivers. The 991 fleet includes cars for James as well as cars for Jonas Paterson, Anthony Leighs, Danny Whiting and Gary Derrick.

“The 991 is a great race car and it’s definitely good to see a significant number out racing at both of our weekends in January,” said Speed Works’ Geoff Short. “We’ve worked hard to secure good fields of cars and the Porsches will put on a great show. They’re fast, and every inch a thoroughbred race car and of course, Callum’s first appearance in his will be of particular interest.”

Other iconic 911 variants and a couple of Cayman GT4 machines  will take the field to at least 15 cars and a good proportion are also set to race in the exciting looking Rush Hour field, which should also feature Tony Quinn’s spectacular Mosler MT-900 and a number of TCR specification cars including World Rally star Hayden Paddon in his Hyundai i30.

The meeting will be headlined by the first round of the Castrol Toyota Racing series, which will feature a full grid of 20 of the brand new Toyota FT-60 machines, all driven by some of the best up and coming young racers in the world today. That field will include reigning champion Liam Lawson, who put his marker down on the championship from the very first session on the track back in January.