V8 Supercars: Let them entertain you...

By Eric Thompson

Stuntz Inc will put on some dangerous and spectatular stunts on two wheels.
Stuntz Inc will put on some dangerous and spectatular stunts on two wheels.

RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

Red Bull X-Fighters are the legends of freestyle motocross and some of their exponents will be in action over the weekend.

Internationally, the Red Bull X-Fighters tournaments are where the best FMX riders in the world come face to face in some spectacular jumps. There's a New Zealand flavour to this team with some of our country's best young talent in action as seen at events like the Red Bull FMX Championships earlier in the summer. This includes Waikato's Nic Franklin, who won the New Zealand round of the Red Bull FMX Championship over the summer.

STUNT INC TEAM

The New Zealand round of the V8 Supercar Championship is never complete without the mind-boggling displays on track from Stuntz Inc. The team is back from Australia and led by Matt Mingay, who has spent the past decade as a stunt driver and rider.

He's been voted the most popular entertainer at V8 Supercar rounds across Australia and has performed at all the major sporting events.

Mingay is heavily involved in the television and movie industry, best known for his stunts in Mission Impossible.

Mingay and Robbie Bolger will have the crowd on the edge of their seats with some of the most dangerous and spectacular stunts ever performed on two wheels - and four.

DRAG CARS

There are some of New Zealand's most impressive drag cars on display and in action over the weekend. Trevor Smith is back in Old Yella - his dad's old Holden Statesman now powered by a 540ci big block Chev. It made its debut two years ago with an 8.90 second pass.

At the recent NZDRA Nationals at Meremere, it posted a 7.60 second run at 280km/h.

Also appearing is the 2007 Ford Falcon GTP from Gary Bogaart of Bogaart Racing.

The chassis was built by Kiwi Terry Bowden and runs a 403ci small block Ford on nitrous oxide producing around 1200bhp. The car has a best of 7.89s and 276km/h for the standing quarter.

ON STAGE

Check out the Lion Red Entertainment at Hinemoa and Stadium where there's dance performances from the Lion Red Rockettes, the fantastic Kara Gordon Band and signing sessions with Greg Murphy and members of the Warriors and Chiefs.

There's also lots of entertainment at the Jim Beam Bar in Hinemoa Park with the Jim Beam Band also performing on a truck around the track during the weekend.

Check out the Samsung Grid Girls competition throughout the weekend, not to mention one of the highlights, when the girls will model a special fashion parade in garments made by the Wintec Fashion School.

DRIVER SIGNINGS AT LAUNCH PARTY

The V8 Supercar drivers will get up close and personal before they battle for supremacy around the streets of Hamilton this weekend.

Hamilton hosts its third annual V8 Supercar Street race with the ITM400 from Friday to Sunday for the New Zealand leg of the championship series.

All drivers will be in the city for a special launch party at Hamilton's Garden Place, which takes place on Thursday from 4-7pm. This includes the official driver signing session for the public and race fans.

"V8 Supercars is the biggest event in the city's calendar," Mayor Bob Simcock said.

"Driver signings are a great V8 Supercar tradition and we are very fortunate this year to have it take place right in the heart of the city."

There will be stage entertainment, car and motor-x displays from the Red Bull X Fighters, and grid girls and sponsors in attendance.

Official driver signings are in two sessions with half of the drivers from 4.30-5.15pm and the other half from 5.30-6.15pm. The i-Site in Garden Place will be open for ITM400 Hamilton tickets and merchandise.

SUPERCARS PROGRAMME

FRIDAY APRIL 16
10.05: 10.35 V8 Supercars [30 minutes] Practice: Part A
10.40: 11.00 NZ/Aus V8 Ute Test Series Qualifying
11.15: 11.25 Drag Cars Full Circuit
11.40: 12.00 Suzuki Swift Sports Cup Qualifying
12.10: 12.40 V8 Supercars [30 minutes] Practice: Part B
12.45: 13.55 NZV8 Qualifying
14.00: 14.15 Hitachi Stunt Utes Full Circuit
14.20: 14.50 V8 Supercars [30 minutes] Practice: Part C
15.10: 15.25 Red Bull X Fighters FMX Display Main Stand
15.50: 16.20 V8 Supercars [30 minutes] Practice: Part D

SATURDAY APRIL 17
9.05: 9.26 NZ/Aus V8 Ute Challenge Race 1: 10 Laps
9.50: 9.55 Stunt Bikes Front Straight
10.05: 10.22 Suzuki Swift Sports Cup Race 1: 8 Laps
10.30: 10.50 V8 Supercars Qualifying
11.00: 11.22 NZV8 Race 1: 12 Laps
11.30: 12.00 V8 Supercars Top Ten Shootout
12.15: 12.30 Red Bull X fighters FMX Display Turn 3
13.20: 13.41 NZ/Aus V8 Ute Challenge Race 2: 10 Laps
13.50: 14.07 Suzuki Swift Sports Cup Race 2: 8 Laps
15.05: 16.30 V8 Supercars Race 1: 59 Laps

SUNDAY APRIL 18:
8.40: 9.10 Hitachi Stunt Utes Main Straight
9.15: 9.36 NZV8 Race 2: 12 Laps
10.20: 10.49 NZ/Aus V8 Ute Challenge Race 3: 14 Laps
10.50: 10.55 Stunt Bikes Front Straight
11.00: 11.20 V8 Supercars Qualifying
11.25: 11.40 Stunt Bikes Turns 3, 5 and 6
11.35: 11.50 Red Bull X Fighters FMX Display Stadium Stand
12.50: 13.05 Suzuki Swift Sports Cup Race 3-8 Laps
13.15: 13.44 NZV8 Race 3: 16 laps
15.05: 16.30 V8 Supercars Race 2: 59 Laps
16.35: 16.40 V8 Supercars Podium Presentation (public welcome)

- NZ Herald

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