Timeline - 2012
Over the New Year period we re-sealed the high wear corners and laid new chip behind the pit buildings.
Hampton Downs also introduced its own dedicated radio station, 106.8 FM - so now you can bring an FM radio or cell phone and tune in – this is a new way to hear the commentary and keep in the loop about what’s going on. We extended the sound system – for more of a surround sound effect.
The Cannonball run came through in early January as well.
New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating BMW Motorsport – during this event we had the single biggest F5000 race in the world! There was a field of thirty-eight F5000’s on the grid. Travelling from overseas for the two meetings are series regulars Greg Thornton (Chevron B24), Mark Dwyer (Lola T400), Mike Whatley (Surtees TS8 and Lola T300), and Frank (Gurney Eagle FA74-01), Judy (Lola T332) and Michael (Lola T400) Lyons from the UK, plus South Australian John Bryant (Lola T140) and Melbourne-based expat Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) from across the Tasman.
The noise was like a well-orchestrated symphony. Michael Lyons, a 20 year old from the UK driving a Lola T400 HU7 Formula 5000 won the overall series and broke the lap record setting it at 59.840.
Motor Cup with Toyota Racing Series
New Zealand Classic Bikes
The much anticipated V8 SuperTourers had their first round at Hampton Downs and it certainly lived up to expectations. The fans cheered and the crowds roared as the drama of this new series unfolded.
The 30 lap feature race was spectacular and with 16 cars on the grid there were many twists and turns, cars being shunted, spinning and panels flying off as they competed for their place on the podium.
Just to name a few of the drivers in the line-up - Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Jonny Reid, John McIntyre, Andy Booth, Kayne Scott, Craig Baird and Paul Manuell. Over the weekend the motorsport stars were inundated with fans wanting their autographs.
Thousands of race fans were on their feet for Greg Murphy when he finished up the championship leader. The final result for the round saw Greg Murphy first followed by Kayne Scott and Jonny Reid.
We also had beautiful hot rods turn up for Mothers Chrome in February, they had a blast cruising the track, watching drifters, doing gymkhanas and trying out the Meremere drag strip.
Legends of Speed
NZ Superbike Nationals
D1NZ Drift Nationals - The crowd at Hampton Downs was four-deep at the fence to watch Curt Whittaker (Team Dilusi 2JZ Nissan Skyline R34 coupe) become New Zealand's new Drift King.
Roycroft Trophy Vintage Festival – The 1906 Darraq racer, driven by Anne Thompson (below) and one of the feature cars was the Austin 7 Duck now owned by Grant Cowie from Australia.
Paralympians to represent NZ at the 2012 Paralympics in London did 2 months of training at Hampton Downs as part of their Paralympics course was on Brands Hatch (a similar surface).\
We had a large stand at the CRC Speedshow this year and enjoyed chatting to a lot of supporters, providing event information and options for how to get on the track!
Hampton Downs 12 Hour endurance race with 10 entries from overseas and some interesting entrants like the Porsche 997 RSR - this car has previously won the Dubai 24 hour race, the new Seat Leon Supercopa, a Series 6 Rx7, a BMW M3, Porsche 996 GT3 and a Panoz GT!
NAC Drift Nationals
Barry Sheene Trans-Tasman Challenge - inaugural event
Suzuki International Tri Series
We also supported Mercy Hospital with Race for Life and St Johns.
We were also pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Upson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Gary is well known for his motorsport involvement in Rally New Zealand and Rally Australia. In recent times, Gary has been NZ Brand Manager for Land Rover as part of Motorcorp Distributors Ltd.
Gary said, “I am truly excited about this new role, Hampton Downs is the future of motorsport in New Zealand and to be part of the next phase in the venue is an amazing opportunity.
We increased our resource consent from 20,000 spectators per day to 50,000 spectators per day.
Resource consent enabling daily spectator numbers to be increased from 20,000 to 50,000 for major events has been approved for the Hampton Downs International motor racing circuit.
The Waikato District Council approved the Resource Consent application this week and the documentation was received by Hampton Downs management today.
“This is the start of an exciting new development phase for Hampton Downs,” said Tony Roberts, the Managing Director of the 450 acre Motorsport Park located 60km south of central Auckland.
“This is a very important day for the future of Hampton Downs as New Zealand’s premier motor racing facility” said Roberts, “This approval enables Hampton Downs to host major national and international events; and also removes the impediment that V8 Supercars said prevented it from bringing their event to New Zealand’s best race circuit.”
“Hampton Downs is just 40 minutes from the centre of Auckland City and the road is dual carriageway motorway for the entire 60kms. Already Hampton Downs has 250,000 people passing through its gates each year and 2.5 million people reside within 90 minutes of the circuit. This consent allows for the continuing development of Hampton Downs.”
Hampton Downs worked closely with the Waikato District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency to develop practical solutions for the anticipated traffic volume at major event with up to 50,000 spectators per day.
“In particular I would like to thank Nath Pritchard and the team at Waikato District Council who provided assistance in processing this Resource Consent and the support of the New Zealand Transport Agency, who worked through the issues in a positive manner”
Parking will be available for up to 9,150 vehicles at the Motorsport Park, and to accommodate the remaining car parking demand and ensure that traffic is efficiently distributed on the roading network, park-and-ride facilities will be established at Mercer and the nearby Meremere Drag racing facility.
“This Resource Consent secures our long term future because the way is now clear for Hampton Downs to fully achieve its potential; and become a significant event centre and tourist attraction for the Auckland and Waikato regions.”
“Future development will provide significant economic benefits for both Auckland and the Waikato region.”
Construction of the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park commenced in early 2007, with the original Resource Consent authorising the establishment and operation of the Motorsport Park and the establishment of various business, industrial and rural-residential uses on and around the Motorsport Park site, including 80 apartments.
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