Quinn: Taupo a logical choice for New Zealand Supercars event

Supercars could return to New Zealand by way of an event at Taupo Motorsport Park

Supercars could return to New Zealand by way of an event at Taupo Motorsport Park

Tony Quinn believes that Taupo is a logical choice for a Supercars event if the championship is to make a return to New Zealand.

For the first time since 2000, pandemic aside, the Repco Supercars Championship will not venture across the Tasman Sea this year, following the closure of Pukekohe Park Raceway to motorsport.

Quinn is a key stakeholder in the category’s quest to take the show back to the Kiwis, not only as an owner of Triple Eight Race Engineering, but also of Taupo Motorsport Park.

However, his preference for the venue is more than just that of a self-interested proprietor, considering his portfolio of circuits includes two others in New Zealand, namely Hampton Downs and Highlands.

“We own three tracks in New Zealand and each one of them is able to cope with the Supercars,” Quinn told Speedcafe and the Parked Up Plus podcast.

“Highlands is probably too difficult logistically to deal with; Hampton Downs is good, but it’s outside the Auckland region, so you fall foul of the funding opportunity there; and if you look at Taupo, it’s a fantastic track in a fantastic part of the world in New Zealand.

“It’s got all the tourism benefits if you want to promote tourism in New Zealand, and the Australians are the biggest tourists in New Zealand, so it makes commercial sense to promote it to the potential customers.”

One hindrance to a New Zealand return is the fact that Pukekohe is located in the Auckland region and was funded by its tourism/economic development agency, whereas both Taupo and Hampton Downs fall in neighbouring Waikato, and Highlands on the South Island.

Nevertheless, Quinn is confident that the national government will come to the party.

“As much as I know, which is not as much as you might think, everybody is positive,” he remarked.

“Nobody’s going to pay them a ransom to come, but sensibly, commercially, I think a deal should be done, will be done, and it would be a travesty if they let this opportunity go.

“I think that the last race meeting at Pukekohe was a sensational event and the one thing that we want to make sure of is, because the memory of Pukekohe was so good, we’ve got to be mindful that we don’t end up going to a track in New Zealand at the wrong time of the year for the weather.

“There’s nothing worse than having a memory of a wet and soggy track, so I think we’re working on a date that would suit both parties.”

Quinn would go on to nominate April, or perhaps October, as likely dates for a Taupo event.

He also played down suggestions that the relatively small township, located on the lake of the same name, would be unable to handle the influx of people which Supercars would bring, citing the fact that it already hosts an Ironman triathlon.

Supercars officials visited Taupo last week.

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