Tickets are now on sale for motor racing fans to enjoy the high speed spectacle of up to 42 GT racers taking to the Highlands’ race track to contest the third annual running of the Highlands 101 endurance race in November.
New Zealand’s most glamorous GT endurance race with an international field of competitors, the Highlands 101 is again the feature of the weekend-long event of the same name at the Highlands Motorsport Park just outside Cromwell, Central Otago, from 13 to 15 November. With its distinctive, modern take on the famed Le Mans running start, the Highlands 101 is an invitation race for two classes of race car. The bulk of the field will comprise Australian GT Championship cars, which are also competing in their season finale at Highlands, plus an array of New Zealand GT cars.
“All Highlands 101 competitors will be vying for line honours in what is essentially a 101-lap sprint,” says Mike Sentch, general manager of Highlands Motorsport Park. “A special trophy is also awarded to the first Kiwi car home.”
Alongside Saturday’s two-race Australian GT Championship final and Sunday’s Highlands 101 enduro, fans can enjoy intense racing from competitors in the 1+01 one-hour endurance race, plus those piloting an array of race cars of European origin in the three 11-lap Euromarque races.
“With tickets now on sale via Ticket Direct or from Highlands, race fans can plan ahead for an outstanding weekend of racing at Highlands,” Sentch says.
“It’s one of only two major motor racing events we hold at Highlands and based on the fantastic feedback we’ve had from the first two editions of the Highlands 101, it’s a weekend not to be missed. Where else in New Zealand can you see McLarens, Ferraris, Audis, Porsches, SLS AMG Mercedes, Lamborghinis, Camaros and Ginettas in action all together? With the fight for victory in the last two Australian GT Championships coming down to the wire at Highlands, you can be guaranteed some intense, world-class action!”
Sentch adds: “We’re delighted that Kiwi fans get to enjoy being part of the ever-increasing momentum around GT racing and proud that Highlands, once again, gets to host an Australian motor racing championship on New Zealand soil.
“While we’re a little way away from announcing any ‘name’ drivers, if they raced at the Phillip Island 101 you can just about bet they will be at the Highlands 101. Watch out for a few surprise entries as well as GT racers from around the world strive to win the majestic Highlands 101 claymore trophy which has gone to Highlands’ owner Tony Quinn twice before. Tony won the first Highlands 101 with star Kiwi V8 Supercar driver Fabian Coulthard and took a last lap victory in last year’s 101 with Australian star Garth Tander.”
Adding to the family-friendly atmosphere at Highlands, the event will feature free children’s entertainment, free pit entry for all ticket-holders, free parking at the track, free return transport from Cromwell and the Highlands bus running around the circuit all day to take spectators and children to the Jurassic safari park and adventure playground in the Highlands forest.
“It’s pretty cool watching the cars rip past when you’re exploring in the forest trying to find all the dinosaurs,” says Melanie Kees, Highlands’ event marketing manager.
“Businesses looking for a great way to thank customers, treat the staff or enjoy an early Christmas party will want to watch for when our corporate suites go on sale,” says Ms Kees. “We’ve added an array of mini marquees to the other fully-hosted hospitality options and expect these popular corporate suites to sell out quickly as they have for the previous Highlands 101 events.”
Ms Kees adds that everyone who purchases their tickets before 31 August will go in the draw to have their own ticket purchase price refunded. “We’ll run a second prize draw for all pre-31 August ticket purchasers, over the age of 18, to win one of five hot laps around the circuit during the Highlands 101 event.”
The event’s schedule will see competitor practice sessions take place on Friday 13 November. Viewing is available from the top terrace with a weekend pass or an entry ticket to the Highlands’ national motorsport museum. On Saturday and Sunday, paying spectators can enjoy the free pit-lane walks, practice and racing from all classes, great viewing sites around the circuit, an array of local food and beverage providers and entertainment.
Visit Ticket Direct www.ticketdirect.co.nz and search for ‘Highlands 101’ for discounted pre-event tickets, and visit www.highlands.co.nz for more information about the Highlands 101 and the many activities and adventures running daily at Highlands Motorsport Park.