Supercars round set to sizzle (or slide) in the NZ New Year

The announcement over the weekend that Australian Supercars would host their New Zealand round of the revised 2020 calendar 9-10 January 2021 may come as a surprise to many, pleasant or unpleasant.  The weekend is set to coincide with an already booked and permitted Speed Works summer series round.  Common sense is that both will run together at the same venue giving motorsport fans and spectators a weekend of top racing.

Dependent on a trans-Tasman bubble being created, Supercars have indicated that they will use either Pukekohe Park Raceway or Hampton Downs with final discussions and decisions still to take place.

Speed Works, the company running and promoting NZ top tier motor racing events, has already locked in their first round for the New Year at Hampton Downs, 9-10 January, and is already looking to work with Supercars.

“We are currently reaching out to Supercars through MotorSport New Zealand but had no discussions with them at the moment,” commented Speed Works Geoff Short to Talkmotorsport this morning.  “We had already planned for an event that weekend at Hampton Downs and have already got permitting and bookings well underway.  It would make sense to combine the two together and that’s what we will work towards.”

At this stage it is too early to know in what form the 2021 Castrol Toyota Racing Series will take place.  The five-consecutive round single seater series traditionally gets underway early January. With a high number of international drivers and team members that make the trip down under, combined with the current closed borders, there will be a number of hurdles required to be negotiated.

Also to be factored into the equation is the involvement of Ateed.  Stuff reports that Steve Armitage, general manager destination for Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed) the arm of Auckland Council which finances the event, says it will be dependent on budget approval.  ‘Auckland, like all cities have and will continue to take a heavy financial hit because of the lockdown and the continuing implications to future rates and cashflow.’

“We’ve got to wait to see what Ateed’s budget looks like.  The city in general, across the whole council family, is facing financial pressure and a significant loss in revenue.

Ateed contributes approximately $1.2mil towards the hosting of the round which is reported to generate around 25,000 visitor nights and $3.5mill to the local economy.

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits 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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