Australian GT eyeing 1001km race next year

Australian GT Championship has enjoyed success with its 101 lap endurance races

The Australian GT Championship has enjoyed success with its 101 lap endurance races

Australian GT is keen to evolve its endurance championship to feature a 1001km race at Hampton Downs next year.

The Tony Quinn run category launched its Australian Endurance Championship this year with a series of four 101 lap races, building on the success of the format used at Highlands Park and Phillip Island in recent seasons.

Already preparing for next year, the Scottish-born businessmen is setting his sights on expanding the format into a 1001km 262-lap showpiece race.

The proposal arrives alongside plans for the Endurance Series to feature up to five rounds next season.

The championship will also run to a new driver grading system and mandatory pitstop procedure.

Quinn’s latest acquisition Hampton Downs, near Auckland, has been tipped as a possible venue for his latest concept.

The circuit has undergone a major $23.5 million upgrade featuring a newly constructed 1km track extension, which will be officially opened when it hosts the penultimate round of the Australian Endurance Championship from October 28-30.

“We have built up the 101 brand with our endurance races but next year I’m pretty determined to do a 1001km race,” Quinn told Speedcafe.com.

“I think depending on how Hampton Downs goes this year, I would think it would a be a great venue for that.

“We are definitely looking into it.”

Hampton Downs could become a focal point for GT racing in the Australia and New Zealand region with plans also underway for the venue to host a bespoke Australasian GT3 race.

The one-off race would see Australian GT competitors race alongside counterparts from GT Asia.

Discussions between Quinn and GT Asia bosses are underway with the two parties currently working towards finalising a date in 2018.

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