Hampton Downs Motorsport Park is firming as the future home of Supercars’ New Zealand round.
Pukekohe Park Raceway, which hosts Round 10 of the current Repco Supercars Championship, will close to motorsport activities in April 2023.
It means this weekend’s ITM Auckland SuperSprint will have an extra layer of significance given it will be Pukekohe’s last Supercars event.
The championship outlined in July that it remains committed to a round across the ditch and would explore other venue options.
Speedcafe.com understands discussions are set to ramp up this weekend over switching the New Zealand round to Hampton Downs next year.
A change of location for Supercars’ only international event has long been considered, having previously been supported by promoter Auckland Unlimited.
In that case, Hampton Downs was due to host the NZ round in 2020 due to local regulation which prevented Pukekohe from doing so on the planned ANZAC Day date.
However, neither circuit ultimately saw Supercars action for three years due to COVID, before Pukekohe returned to the calendar in 2022 for what will be its swansong appearance.
Auckland Unlimited says it will support Supercars in the process of securing a replacement venue for Pukekohe.
“We will continue to explore the potential for future hosting of the Repco Supercars Championship in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland,” said Richard Clarke, Director of Arts, Entertainment and Events at Auckland Unlimited.
“The ITM Auckland SuperSprint has been a key anchor event in our major events program, and a significant driver for visitation.
“The last couple of years have been challenging for major events, however, we remain committed to working with the team at Supercars Australia to understand what the long-term future of the series might look like at a new venue.”
Since 2012, Auckland Unlimited-supported motorsport events at Pukekohe have contributed an estimated $ 38.35 million to regional GDP.
However, Hampton Downs is located in the Waikato District, just outside of the Auckland region.
Government support is key to the future of the event, though it is understood Auckland Unlimited’s backing could still continue should it move to Hampton Downs.
Notably, in April 2021, Auckland Unlimited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Waikato District’s economic development arm to work together on joint economic development opportunities.
Practice 1 for this weekend’s final Supercars round at Pukekohe kicks off at 14:40 local time / 12: 40 AEST.