Pukekohe confirmed as New Zealand Supercars host

Supercars has confirmed that it will hold its New Zealand round at Pukekohe later this year.

Pukekohe confirmed as New Zealand Supercars host

As first reported by Motorsport.com, Supercars has settled on the Auckland circuit for its regular trip across the Tasman later this year.

That means Hampton Downs, which had been in contention to host the round, will have to wait for its first opportunity to stage a Supercars event.

“We’ve been working closely with Auckland Unlimited and ITM to put this event in place and we are excited to return to Pukekohe again in 2021," said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

"We can’t thank them enough for their flexibility and partnership over the last 18 months.

“Pukekohe holds a special place in Supercars history as the first venue to host an international championship round, which is what we will celebrate this year, 20 years since that spectacular debut.

“The Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, awarded to the winner of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, is one of the most respected awards for Supercars drivers, which adds something extra to this event every year.

“We look forward to working with everyone in Auckland over the coming months to put on another great ITM Auckland SuperSprint.”

With Auckland Unlimited backing the event, Pukekohe – the only circuit in the Auckland local government region – was the obvious choice.

However it wasn't an entirely straightforward decision due to a date bungle for the 2020 event.

Supercars had planned on racing at Pukekohe on ANZAC Day last year, only for a hidden piece of local legislation regarding use of the circuit on public holidays to throw a spanner in the works.

Hampton Downs stepped in to save the event with Auckland's blessing, only for the whole thing to then be cancelled due to the pandemic.

That opened the door for Hampton Downs to be considered for the 2021 event despite being on the wrong side of the Auckland border.

While the decision has ultimately gone Pukekohe's way, Seamer has left the door to Hampton Downs open for the future.

“I’d like to thank [CEO] Josie [Spillane] and the team at Hampton Downs for all they’ve done," he said.

"We are going to Pukekohe this year, but Hampton Downs is still very much on our radar."

The Auckland SuperSprint will take place on November 6-7.

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