Pukekohe gearing up for ITM 500 in November

With the V8 Supercars Championship entering the second half of the season, eyes have begun to focus on ITM 500 Auckland in November.

The sole New Zealand stop in the V8 Supercars Championship, set for 6-8 November at Pukekohe Park Raceway, was launched in Auckland over the weekend.

David Reynolds (Bottle O Racing Ford), Dale Wood (GB Galvanising Racing Holden) and Kiwi Andre Heimgartner (Super Black Racing Ford) were in Auckland for the launch at the CRC Speedshow while the trio also experienced some adventure activities in the region.

Reynolds, up to fourth in the Championship, believes he will be a real title contender by the time he comes to the ITM 500 Auckland which is the third-to-last stop in the series.

The 30-year-old, who won in Darwin last month and had back-to-back podiums in the last event in Townsville, says success in New Zealand would be a thrill.

“I’ve driven a lot at Pukekohe in Porsche racing and V8 Supercars and I really like the circuit. It’s one of my favourites and it is a circuit I believe our team can do well at,” Reynolds said.

“I believe I can be a serious threat to the Championship. Our car is great and the team is doing a fantastic job.”

However it’s Heimgartner who is most looking forward to the chance to race in front of friends, family and fans at the spiritual home of motorsport in New Zealand.

“I’ve watched so much racing at Pukekohe and driven there a lot. But to be part of the New Zealand team in the V8 Supercars Championship in Super Black Racing is going to be really special.

“We are starting to get to grips with what is needed to do well in this Championship and I’m hoping Super Black Racing will have plenty of fans supporting us in November.”

The drivers, who took part in some adventure activities at Castaways at Karioitahi Beach near Waiuku, met with fans at the CRC Speedshow and took part in kart racing.

“The weekend was a lot of fun and I think we all enjoy coming to Auckland. The circuit is one of the most exciting and I’m sure it will bring plenty of excitement for the fans,” Wood said.

ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) Chief Executive, Brett O’Riley said the drivers love the track at Pukekohe, and it’s fantastic to see another kiwi on the grid.

“The V8s are part of a stellar line up of events in Auckland this spring. There’s something for everyone, from motorsport, top international music acts, food shows and musicals, to colourful cultural festivals. It’s an impressive line-up, and a great excuse to make a weekend of it and explore what else Auckland has to offer.”

Tickets are on sale from as little as $30, with three-day trackside from $100 with children 12 and under free with a paying adult. Fanstands are only $110 for three days and Grandstands at $280 with pit pass. The Winter Special is single day Saturday or Sunday tickets from $70, get in quick, pricing valid until 31 August.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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