THIS weekend's Hyundai Excel racing action at Mount Panorama is shaping up as a battle between states.
And Bathurst's John Markwick is looking to help an underdog New South Wales lineup leave an impression on their northern and southern rivals.
Markwick is the sole home city representative for the event which has drawn a huge 55 car grid for the three-race meeting, part of the weekend's massive 6 Hour event.
The non-championship round has brought drivers from across the nation to the city for the chance to race on the iconic circuit.
Among them are the Queensland and Victorian entrants, who carry more oomph under the bonnet thanks to different regulations, but that doesn't bother Markwick.
He's just excited for the chance to take on the Mount.
"Getting some track time at Mount Panorama is always awesome," he said.
"I'm very happy to be in the NSW team taking on the rest of Australia. It's an awesome feeling."
Markwick is currently in his second year of racing in the NSW Excel Series but didn't get to race on his home track in 2018.
Prior to that he was in the Australian Pulsar Racing Association for four years and has a wealth of racing time with the Bathurst Light Car Club.
He didn't attend the opening round of the 2019 Excel Series in order to keep the car in perfect condition for a Bathurst drive.
Markwick expects the Mount will be full of thrills for drivers.
"You don't expect the Hyundai Excel to be an exciting racing machine but they handle well, brake well, steer well and are a great little car to drive," he said.
"We've done a few modifications to the car to help it handle a bit better. We've got new suspension in there and improved the airflow into the engine."
The power differences between the cars will make the going tough for the New South Wales contingent but Markwick relishes a challenge.
"The pressure will be on with 55 cars on the track while trying to keep up with the Victorians and Queenslanders whose cars are a lot quicker than ours," he said.
"If we can stick around and have some fun with those guys it would be great.
"I'd like to try and end up in the middle somewhere. I'd done Challenge Bathurst so hopefully that extra track knowledge will help me out."
Marwick's Super Cheap Car Centre team are one of just seven NSW cars pitting themselves against their interstate rivals.
Queenslanders (16) and Victorians (13) dominate the field while cars from Western Australia and South Australia are also making their way to Bathurst.
Qualifying takes place from 3.45pm on Friday and the opening race starts 10am on Saturday.