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New international GT3 race for Hampton Downs

Tom Howard

Saturday 29th July, 2017 - 10:35am

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Hampton Downs

SRO has announced plans for a new Asian GT3 series featuring the Bathurst 12 Hour and an all new Hampton Downs 12 Hour event in New Zealand for next year.

Confirmed at this weekend’s Spa 24 Hours, the new Asia Pacific 36 series which will see the Sepang 12 Hour, Bathurst 12 Hour and a brand new Hampton Downs 12 Hour race form a three round series.

The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will continue to be the opening round of the successful Intercontinental GT Challenge, which will include the Spa 24 Hours and the Suzuka 10 Hours that replaces the Sepang 12 Hour.

The all-new Hampton Downs 12 Hours is the fruition of a series of talks between SRO boss Stephane Ratel and Australian GT and Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn.

The event at the North Island circuit is tipped for an October date, and is also likely to feature on the Australian Endurance Championship calendar.

“Like all good things this hasn’t just happened overnight,” Quinn told Speedcafe.com.

“We have a few other things in the pipeline that will be good for GT over the years.”

“It is good to have the support of Stephane and the Bathurst 12 Hours guys have been very good, and if we can join the three events together is good.

“It adds to the whole GT phenomenon.”

Bathurst 12 Hour event director John Casey has backed the new Asia Pacific 36 concept.

“There is appeal in the concept of the Asia Pacific 36, and we support the idea,” said Casey.

“There are still details we need to work through and will do so with an understanding that it could commence in 2019.”

Australian GT category manager Ken Collier expects the event will attract several teams from the series.

“It is going to be a big event and will have support from the Blancpain GT Series Asia and I believe that many Australian GT teams will be interested,” said Collier.

“Obviously the NZ based GT3 teams will be talking about the event also.”

“I am also talking to other categories who could participate at the event in support races as apart from being a great circuit we will have world class TV and live streaming production which is a big feature of all SRO events worldwide.

“I expect that that all three event organisers will work very well with SRO to make the Asia Pacific 36 a complete success.”

Meanwhile, Australian GT has also signed a five-year agreement for the establishment of GT4 in Australia with SRO.

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