New Zealanders are increasingly captivated by the Australian Ford versus Holden V8 touring car series, fuelled by the deeds of the many Kiwis involved. Greg Murphy, Steven Richards and Paul Radisich are among the most accomplished drivers, particularly Murphy, who has four times won the series' blue-riband event, the Bathurst 1000, the last two in succession, and had phenomenal success at the New Zealand round at Pukekohe. Three other New Zealand drivers are snapping at their heels, Jason Richards, Simon Wills and Craig Baird. All of them are fulltime in what has become one of the world's premier touring car series, and which employs around 140 New Zealanders in various capacities. However, for the last two years the drivers' bids to win the overall title have been foiled by two Pukekohe brothers, Jimmy and Ross Stone, who have run their own team headed by Australian driver Marcos Ambrose. Aided by the extraordinary professionalism of the Stones, Ambrose has secured the touring car title on both occasions. He is again setting the pace this year with Steven Richards, Murphy and Radisich in hot pursuit.
The latter, twice the world touring car champion, has had a new lease of life, having this year joined the previously battling Team Kiwi Racing team. For the fans it is as much a battle between their favourite make of car as between the drivers. For example Ambrose drives a Ford, and Murphy a Holden, and previously it was the legendary Peter Brock pitting his Holden against the Ford of Dick Johnson. The series has become huge on TVNZ, and the unsuccessful attempts at staging street races in Auckland and Wellington has created even greater awareness. All this will be extensively covered in the book, which takes a strong look at New Zealand's involvement, including the drivers' and teams' stories, the fascination with Bathurst, and how the Ford v Holden battle, into its 13th year, has developed.