Young Aucklander Callum Quin will go head to head with some of the country's best drivers, when the North Island Endurance Series (NIES) kicks off in Taupo this weekend.
21-year old Quin started his racing career when he was seven-years-old in karts, racing those until he was 13 before moving into Formula First - his first foray into car racing. Since then, he has also raced in the New Zealand BMW class, as well as three seasons in the Toyota 86's with a best championship finish of second.
Quin will race his 600hp+ Holden Commodore V8 SuperTourer in GT B class of the three hour long endurance race, where he will partner with experienced V8 racer, Simon McLennan (30) of Point Chevalier.
Having finished third in the endurance championship last season with former co-driver John Penny, Quin is confident he and McLennan can put in a good performance at the opening round and move themselves two places further up the podium.
"Simon has raced these types of cars for a long time now, and has done a lot of endurance racing so I think he'll bring a lot to our driving partnership," says Quin.
Aiming for the win in GT Class B, Quin says an overall victory is also achievable.
"The car is good, we showed last season that in standard Supertourer specification we were able to place third in the championship and now with a few of the performance modifications we've made, I'm confident that if we stay out of trouble, we should be in a good position by the time the chequered flag comes out."
Quin says a lot of strategy comes into play during the long three-hour race, with the team to consider many different scenarios.
"The cars are all so different with many strengths and weaknesses. You need to consider things like when you plan to do your pit stops and your driver change. How often you will change tyres, and how many times you will need to refuel - all in relation to your competitors."
"Sometimes you don't actually have to have the fastest car, but if you have the most efficient one, you can come away with a good result."
"With our car we have really good fuel economy and think that the cars in the class above us will have to stop more than once, so that might play into our hands."
Quin says he's relishing heading to Taupo, a circuit he has had a lot of success at in the past.
"I've gotten podiums there in everything I've raced in previously, it's a great track, very fast and flowing."
"When we raced there in December in the BNT NZ Touring Car championship round, we worked on developing a car with a nice balanced set-up which is what you want when endurance racing. It should enable us to hit the ground running when we get there."
The NIES is run over three rounds, starting at Taupo (May 20) before moving on Hampton Downs (June 24) and Pukekohe (July 22).
Depending on finding supporters, Quin and his team may also take on the South Island Endurance series later in the year.