Taupo Supercars date revealed
Thursday 21st September, 2023 - 10:30am
The date for the first ever Taupo Supercars event has been announced as April 19-21.
The 2024 ITM Taupo SuperSprint will mark the return of Supercars to New Zealand after a first season in over two decades (COVID-19 pandemic aside) when there was no stop on the other side of the Tasman.
The Tony Quinn-owned venue becomes the third track in New Zealand to host a championship points-paying event, after a total of 20 at Pukekohe Park Raceway (in two iterations) and the Hamilton Street Circuit.
Racing will be conducted on the 3.32km International Circuit, as previously announced.
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“Several” possible formats are currently under consideration, according to Supercars’ announcement, with a decision set to be confirmed after next month’s Gold Coast 500.
The return to New Zealand was complicated by new government funding arrangements given Taupo is located in the Waikato region, whereas Pukekohe was part of Auckland.
Now, the New Zealand Government has committed $5 million over the next three years to support the event.
Speaking on behalf of Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds, New Zealand Major Events Manager Kylie Hawker-Green said, “Ever since the first championship event here in 2001, Supercars has become one of New Zealand’s largest attended annual sporting events.
“After a year’s hiatus we are excited to be able to help reconnect the tens of thousands of fans from across New Zealand with their favourite teams and drivers, as well as welcome thousands of Australian visitors to Taupo and the surrounding regions.
“The Government’s Major Event Fund is proud to help lock in the return of Supercars by investing $5 million over the next three ITM Taupō SuperSprints.
“We are confident the Taupō round will add to the rich history of Supercar events in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Work is ongoing on grandstand arrangements, with tickets to go on sale in coming weeks.
Supercars CEO Shane Howard said, “We had an incredible response to the announcement earlier this month and, as a result, we’re trying to ensure we cover all options for ticketing before we go on sale.
“We anticipate having grandstand, general admission, corporate and other ticketing options confirmed and on sale in just a few weeks’ time.
“The venue is incredible. To think that in just over 200 days this entire venue will be filled with fans as Supercars race here is very exciting.”
Taupo will be the seventh foreign circuit to host a points-paying event of the Australian Touring Car Championship – the others being Shanghai, Bahrain, Yas Marina, and Circuit of The Americas – and the 35th in total.
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas hailed the impending arrival of Supercars and the tourism benefits it is set to bring.
“Attracting a premium event like Supercars to the Taupō District further cements our reputation as the events capital of New Zealand and our central location means people will come from all over the country and overseas,” he declared.
“We hope that while they’re here for Supercars they’ll take the opportunity to enjoy our superb scenery and world-class tourism attractions too.”
A significant cultural welcome was held at the venue this morning, to officially welcome Supercars to Aotearoa (New Zealand).
When the full field returns next year, they will compete for the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, continuing a tradition which began with the first event back at Pukekohe, in 2013.
According to Supercars’ announcement, the Taupo SuperSprint “will also be one of the most sustainable ever held for the category with a focus on waste reduction, energy management, water conservation and a strong focus on delivering sustainable transportation options” from the tourist town to the circuit each day.