Jimmy Stone to attend last Pukekohe event

Jimmy Stone will attend the last Pukekohe motor racing meeting

Jimmy Stone will attend the last Pukekohe motor racing meeting

Jimmy Stone will head home to attend this weekend’s last ever motor racing event at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

The much-loved circuit officially opened in 1963 before its owner, Auckland Thoroughbred Racing, announced last July that it will close to motorsport activities this coming April 2.

While Supercars bade farewell last September, a Speedworks event this weekend will be the final ever for Pukekohe before motorsport makes way for an expansion in horse racing activity.

A number of famous names have cut their teeth or furthered their legend at the South Auckland venue over its 60 years in operation, including the Stone Brothers who would go on to enjoy great success in Supercars.

Jimmy Stone, who continues to playing a supporting role in son Matt’s Truck Assist Racing team, will be making the trip to his home town to see off the historic race track.

“I served my apprenticeship in Pukekohe, so even in our lunchtimes when I was a first-year apprentice – the Pukekohe track had just opened only a year or two before that – we used to go down and watch cars go around,” he recalled.

“I actually raced my first car there when I was 18, which was an 850 Mini.

“We built cars in New Zealand – Formula Atlantic cars, or Formula Pacific, we used to call them – and we built a car for my brother and he won the championship, and he won that at Pukekohe.

“So, a lot of history for me and to be going to the last meeting ever, [I am] sort of pretty excited.

“There’ll be a lot of older friends there that I haven’t seen for a while, so I’m pretty excited about it.”

A Matt Stone Racing car at the last Pukekohe Supercars event, in September 2022

A Matt Stone Racing car at the last Pukekohe Supercars event, in September 2022

Stone will fly out tomorrow morning, and expects the weekend to be an emotional occasion.

“I think so; going back to my home town, yes, there’s a bit of emotion involved,” he added.

“I’ve done a lot of laps around Pukekohe in Formula Fords, and Escorts, and Minis…”

The final Pukekohe race meeting will feature eight classes of vehicle contesting a total of 31 races, followed by a trio of Flying Farewells.

The latter are a New Zealand motorsport tradition which see multiple classes of cars sharing the track in a handicap race.

This weekend’s will begin with the Hamilton Asphalts Saloons Flying Farewell featuring up to 40 competitors from the Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing Series, Motul Honda Cup, Pre65- Super Minis, the Ryco 24.7 V8 Utes Championship, and Production Cars.

The Eric Mallard Fast Forty Flying Farewell takes in the Colin Waite Open GT, Super V8, and Napa Central Muscle Cars.

Finally, the Pukekohe Flying Farewell Salter Cartage Super Trucks is set to see the Napa Super Trucks put on one last show at Pukekohe.

Action gets underway this Friday, March 24.

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