McLaughlin: Pukekohe memories lit a fire in me

McLaughlin broke Craig Lowndes’ season wins record at Pukekohe in 2019

Scott McLaughlin has reacted to the news that Pukekohe Park Raceway will end all motorsport operations next year.

Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) today announced a cease of motorsport activities in April 2023 to focus on horse racing at the precinct.

Now a 29-year-old, McLaughlin formed a special bond with Pukekohe as a Kiwi growing up when he witnessed Greg Murphy dominate on home soil in 2001.

McLaughlin then went on to become the youngest Supercars Championship race winner, claiming his maiden points-paying victory in 2013 at the venue.

The three-time Supercars champion, who is now also an IndyCar Series race winner, penned a social media post in the wake of the Pukekohe news, saying the circuit has a special place in his heart.

“Really sad to see Pukekohe Raceway being told their time as a motorsport venue will finish in early 2023,” he wrote.

“I’ll never forget watching Murph on the hill in 2001, it was the first time I’d seen a V8 Supercar live.

“It lit a fire in me that’s still burning today to be the best racing driver I can be.

“Some of the memories I have there racing myself I’ll never forget.

“Thank you Pukekohe and thank you to the NZ fans that always made it special racing there.”

This year’s ITM Auckland SuperSprint is likely to be the last Supercars round at Pukekohe from September 9-11.

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