Heimgartner calls for South Island NZ Supercars round

Highlands Motorsport Park

Andre Heimgartner is eager to reignite discussion of a second New Zealand Supercars round in the hope the championship can visit the South Island.

Pukekohe Park Raceway, the current home of the Repco Supercars Championship’s New Zealand event, will close to motorsport activities in April 2023.

It leaves the category scoping out new locations for racing across the ditch.

Speedcafe.com understands the Tony Quinn-owned Hampton Downs Motorsport Park is a hot favourite to replace Pukekohe on the calendar next year.

The venue is located 30 minutes south of Pukekohe, but still on the North Island.

It’s a prospect backed by Greg Murphy, with Heimgartner also weighing in with support for Hampton Downs as a top candidate.

“That’s always a tough one, but I think Hampton Downs is obviously an obvious choice,” the Brad Jones Racing driver told Speedcafe.com.

“Great track, great facility, close to Auckland. So that would be a natural thing to go to.”

As one of three Kiwis in Supercars full-time (Shane van Gisbergen and Chris Pither being the other two), Heimgartner sees an opportunity for the championship.

The closure of Pukekohe offers a reset of sorts, with Heimgartner hoping a Supercars double-header featuring a race on New Zealand’s South Island can be considered.

“I think they should also consider a South Island event,” he added.

“They bring all the gear over, they might as well do two events and give the South Island people… I think they would get around it and it would be a really cool event.”

The idea of a double-header in New Zealand was floated in 2020, though the nation has not seen Supercars action since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlands Motorsport Park on New Zealand’s South Island was previously investigated by Supercars to hold a round.

The circuit is another owned by Quinn, who said in May 2021 he was confident that one day Supercars ‘will be at Hampton Downs and/or at Highlands’.

This year’s ITM Auckland SuperSprint will take place from September 9-11.

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