Quinn keen on V8 Supercars at Hampton Downs

The V8 Supercars visit NZ once per year, racing at Pukekohe

The V8 Supercars visit NZ once a year, racing at Pukekohe

New Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn says he’s keen to see the V8 Supercars Championship race at the New Zealand venue in future.

Quinn is planning major upgrades at the North Waikato facility with works, including a 1km extension of the circuit, expected to be completed next year.

V8 Supercars is currently in the third year of a five-year deal that sees the Australian championship race at the nearby Pukekohe track.

While the current Pukekohe arrangement is understood to preclude a second event in New Zealand, Quinn says he’s willing to talk with V8 Supercars about future opportunities.

“Absolutely we’d like to have V8 Supercars at Hampton Downs,” Quinn told Speedcafe.com.

“Pukekohe has got the deal for a while, but give it 18 months and Hampton Downs will be a truly international facility.

“With what we’ve got planned, I think that V8 Supercars will want to come to us.

“Whether they can do two rounds in New Zealand or do it a year-about (alternate), I’m not sure.

“They’ve got their own commitments to work through, but I’m more than open to having discussions with V8s at any time.”

Quinn confirmed that next year’s Australian GT Championship, which he operates, will end with a NZ double-header, visiting both Hampton Downs and Highlands Park.

The AGTC’s first visit to Hampton Downs would likely coincide with a “grand opening” of the upgraded venue, at which Quinn says “an international category” will be featured.

“Eventually what I’d like to see, ideally within the next three years, would be a GT3 grand final there,” he added.

“You could take the best six each from Australia, Asia and New Zealand competing for an Asia Pacific cup.”

Now with two NZ circuits in his portfolio, Quinn stresses a desire to help rebuild the local motorsport scene.

Although admitting he won’t have a direct hand in the current efforts to merge the NZV8 and SuperTourer classes, the Gold Coast-based Quinn is optimistic that it is heading in the right direction.

“There has been a lack of organisation and lack of leadership in NZ,” he said.

“There have been negative forces in play for a couple of years which has dismantled the good things that were in place.

“But I think another year of reorganisation and a little bit of common sense, it won’t take long for it to become a good series again.”

Fostering the friendly rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is also on the pet food tycoon’s mind, with GT racing not the only potential platform for Trans Tasman competition.

“One of the things I want to do is establish the Aussie Racing Cars in New Zealand,” he said.

“I think the category would really work there, albeit with a different name.

“But there’s a classic example of a true opportunity to have a Trans Tasman competition.”

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