Supercars locks in Pukekohe for New Zealand return

Scott McLaughlin won the last time Supercars raced at Pukekohe Park in 2019

Supercars has confirmed it will return to Pukekohe Park later this year for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.

The New Zealand event will form the penultimate round of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship across November 6-7.

The venue confirmation comes following recent news of a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s event will mark the first time since 2019 that the championship has raced in New Zealand after last year’s edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It will be over two years since we visited New Zealand when we arrive this November,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

“We can’t wait to get back and see our fans and partners there.

“We’ve been working closely with Auckland Unlimited and ITM to put this event in place and we are excited to return to Pukekohe again in 2021.

“We can’t thank them enough for their flexibility and partnership over the last 18 months.”

This year Supercars will celebrate its 20th anniversary of racing in New Zealand.

Pukekohe Park hosted its first points-paying Supercars round in 2001, with local legend Greg Murphy sweeping the three-race weekend.

The Prince of Pukekohe would go on to establish an illustrious record totalling five round wins and nine race wins.

Between 2008 and 2012 the Supercars Championship switched its sole New Zealand round to Hamilton, but returned in 2013 where it has stayed ever since.

That year, the Jason Richards Memorial trophy was introduced following the passing of the Kiwi driver in 2011.

“Pukekohe holds a special place in Supercars’ history as the first venue to host an international championship round, which is what we will celebrate this year, 20 years since that spectacular debut,” Seamer added.

“The Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, awarded to the winner of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, is one of the most respected awards for Supercars’ drivers, which adds something extra to this event every year.

“We look forward to working with everyone in Auckland over the coming months to put on another great ITM Auckland SuperSprint.”

Steve Armitage, general manager of Auckland Unlimited, said the opening of the border bubble was a major boost for the event.

“The return of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint provides yet another reason for visitors from both sides of the Tasman to join Aucklanders at Pukekohe Park Raceway this November,” said Armitage.

“The ties between our countries have always run deep but the events of the last year have offered us all a stark reminder of our value to one another.

“Hosting one of the featured events on the series calendar is a great way to acknowledge this, so we will be setting our sights on a strong turnout from locals and visitors alike.”

Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight Race Engineering), Andre Heimgartner (Kelly Grove Racing), and Fabian Coulthard (Team Sydney) will fly the flag for New Zealand.

Tickets will go on sale on May 1.

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