Supercars working on Hampton Downs spectator limit

Hampton Downs Motorsport Park

Supercars organisers are actively working on getting the necessary resource consent to expand the spectator limit at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.

Less than four months out from the New Zealand event it was announced Pukekohe Park had to be dropped from the calendar.

That came after it was found Auckland Council unitary plan bylaws restricted racing activity at the South Auckland circuit on ANZAC Day.

Under Waikato District Council jurisdiction, Hampton Downs was subsequently announced as a replacement venue.

While it is unaffected by any ANZAC Day-related bylaws, the North Waikato facility is currently limited to 20,000 spectators per day.

That poses an issue for Supercars, which typically exceeds that figure annually at the nearby Pukekohe Park.

“My understanding is that the resource consent – when they initially tried to get Supercars there – was for 60,000,” Seamer told selected media including Speedcafe.com.

“It’s been updated to 20,000 but we’re working through an increase of that with Waikato (District Council) at the moment.”

Efforts were made by previous circuit owners Tony Roberts and Chris Watson to get the resource consent to 50,000 people.

That came at a time when the circuit was actively trying to get Supercars at the venue around the time of the Hamilton 400 demise in 2012.

However, when that failed, the final consent was never authorised and has stayed at 20,000.

Seamer said Supercars are working with the NZ Transport Agency as well. It is understood there are limits on vehicle flowthrough in and around the area.

The Waikato District Council confirmed to Speedcafe.com earlier this week that no consent applications have been lodged.

“We’re working with the transit authority there, to make sure that we’ve got the right egress plans in place, to be able to get an increase,” said Seamer.

“It’s not going to be a problem. They were pretty happy to have the event there and they’re doing a really good job of making sure they do everything to make sure it’s going to be a good event.”

This year’s Auckland Super400 will mark the first time Supercars has raced at Hampton Downs, which is just 30km away from Pukekohe Park.

It’s also the first time a major international championship has raced on the International Circuit since the Australian GT Championship in 2018.

While Hampton Downs is newer than Pukekohe Park, it lacks grandstand seating. The facility has previously had up to three grandstands around the circuit for several events, but those have since been torn down.

Seamer confirmed that temporary grandstand seating is being finalised for the event and will be announced in due course.

“So the only thing from a fan experience point of view is that we’re really lucky to have a large covered grandstand at Pukekohe,” he said. “We’re going to have to put temporary grandstands in at Hampton Downs.”

Previous grandstands have been located at the hairpin and along the front straight in between the apartment complexes.

General admission tickets for the event are currently the only option available for spectators.

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