Rotorua Superstock ace Scott Hewson is looking forward to getting back on home turf tonight, when he takes to the track at Rotorua's TWS Paradise Valley Raceway for the 2013 NZ Welding School World Invitation Superstock Championship.
Hewson will be just one of 60 drivers from all over the country facing qualifying, looking to capture one of the 19 spots remaining in the 26-car finals' field tomorrow night to find the new world champion.
Like many of those racing tonight, the 31-year old Rotorua company director has spent the early part of 2013 racing in the South Island.
Like many on the speedway circuit, these trips for the Hewson team become family affairs, with partner Miriam, son Bradley and parents Paul and Donna all heavily involved.
In Nelson, two weeks ago, Hewson was well-placed to win the New Zealand Championship entering the deciding third heat.
"We'd had a good build-up to this one, and I was having a good run. No one seemed to be having a shot at me, and just as I was starting to feel pretty good I had a gearbox failure and it was all over."
The nature of motorsport can be cruel, but Hewson had a chance to rectify the result last weekend in Christchurch, and made it count at the NZ Superstock Grand Prix.
"It was a pretty rough track but we made set-up changes and got it pretty right. I had three good races in the finals, but there was just one costly tangle with another driver in the second race."
This tangle meant Hewson lost six points, crucial to the final result. He finished just one point behind winner Adam Joblin.
The team returned to Rotorua on Sunday night, leaving just four days to prepare his racecar for one of the biggest race meetings of the year.
"We've done plenty of work on the car since being back. We had the diff out and checking that after another car had some issues down south. It's good we decided to, as we have replaced the crown wheel and pinion, which were showing some wear."
To be competitive can mean long hours in the workshop, but Hewson is committed. He is recognised as not only a top driver, but a racecar builder, too, under his Top Gear Chassis brand.
The TAB bookies seem to back Hewson's ability to again be at the pointy end of the field, with the local favourite fourth equal favourite overall at $10 to win and $3.60 to place.
While Hewson has to race qualifying tonight to make tomorrow's 26-car finals field, fellow Rotorua driver Bryce Steiner can relax as one of seven drivers who have already qualified for the finals.
Steiner won a pre-qualifying event last year and joins defending champion Andy McCabe (Palmerston North) and five overseas drivers in practice sessions tonight.
Racing starts at TWS Paradise Valley Raceway at 7pm.