In a partnership forged between the New Zealand Touring Car Championship and Supercars at the recent ITM Auckland SuperSprint, the BNT V8s Championship will join the Supercars Junior Development Program to provide a pathway for young Kiwi drivers to follow the likes of Scott McLaughlin into the top grade.
The programme was announced earlier this year, aimed at nurturing and ultimately promoting young talent into the established pathways of Australia’s premier category, and will now include the BNT V8s Championship, which is fed from the junior karting ranks in New Zealand.
Current Kiwi Supercars driver’s Scott McLaughlin, Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard, Andre Heimgartner, and Richie Stanaway all started their careers in karts in New Zealand, and both van Gisbergen and McLaughlin will join Supercars CEO Sean Seamer on a selection panel to identify young talent through various championships, including the BNT V8s and KartSport New Zealand.
“I am incredibly passionate about New Zealand motorsport, as are all of us Kiwis who have been fortunate enough to make it into Supercars,” said McLaughlin. “The more we can do as drivers and the sport to help these kids take the next steps the better. I am very supportive of this alliance between New Zealand and Australia.”