The Rotorua Rebels superstock team head to Palmerston North this weekend aiming to claim their first New Zealand Teams Championship trophy since 1986.

Team captain Bryce Steiner is the only remaining member from last year's squad, and is one of the more experienced drivers in the field, and a previous event winner.

"I've been to teams champs plenty of times and had highs and lows. I've been at work the following week in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis and concussion, much to my family's concern, but something just keeps dragging me back. I do love repping my club and clubmates."

Despite the Rebels having a tough draw, he remained positive ahead of the weekend's racing.


"We've got a dedicated team willing to go to the biggest event on the calendar. I'm positive they'll be entertaining. I'm probably near the end of my run so I'm super stoked to see the young talent coming through the ranks."

Steiner is joined this year by the returning Gary Hunter and Alan McRobbie, with AJ Axtens and Darcy Meurant representing the Rebels for the first time at the national championship, which attracts close to 20,000 fans each night.

The teams racing format sees four cars on track for each team, with drivers scoring points based on finishing positions.

But with these 1500kg, 500 horsepower race cars allowed to hit each other, there is as much emphasis on big hits to eliminate and destroy the other team cars, making for some spectacular incidents.

The Rotorua side will open the championship meeting with a clash against regular foes Baypark Busters in the first race of the weekend. This will be the third year in a row the two teams have met at the national championship, with a win apiece over the past two years.

The team will be hoping for minimal damage in that first heat, with their second qualifying race against defending champions and event favourites Palmerston North Panthers, who boast all five team members having been past 1, 2, or 3NZs.

This year's event will see 12 teams from New Zealand and one from Great Britain take part in qualifying on Saturday night, with the finals on Sunday night at Central Energy Trust Arena.