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Pukekohe Park is a horse racing, motor racing, and community events facility located in Pukekohe, New Zealand, approximately 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) south of the Auckland CBD, in the Auckland Region of the North Island. The venue, owned by Counties Racing Club Inc. is used seven days a week for horse training, driver training, motor sport events, cycling and various events and functions.

Pukekohe Park Raceway
Pukekohe Park Raceway (2013).png
LocationPukekohe, New Zealand
Time zoneGMT +12
Coordinates37°12′56″S 174°55′8″E / 37.21556°S 174.91889°E / -37.21556; 174.91889Coordinates: 37°12′56″S 174°55′8″E / 37.21556°S 174.91889°E / -37.21556; 174.91889
Major eventsTasman Series
New Zealand V8s
Toyota Racing Series
Supercars Championship Auckland SuperSprint
New Zealand Grand Prix
Length2.841, 2.91 km (1.765, 1.808 mi)
Turns8/ 11
Race lap record51.807 (Glenn Smith, ELF Lubricants- SBT Group, December 8, 2018)
Aerial shot of Pukekohe Park taken in July 2016.

HistoryEdit

The Raceway was opened in 1963 as a permanent track, replacing Ardmore (an aerodrome) as the host circuit of the New Zealand Grand Prix. Annually for several years, the mainly European based Grand Prix drivers such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart, would head downunder for a relaxed Tasman Series during the European winter.

For many years Pukekohe was the venue for New Zealand's premier production car race, the Benson and Hedges 500 mile race (later 1000 km) featuring drivers such as Peter Brock, Dick Johnson and Jim Richards. In 1996 the New Zealand Mobil Sprints held one round in Pukekohe. Pukekohe Park Raceway also held an annual round of the popular Australian V8 Supercar race from 2001 to 2007. However, the New Zealand round moved to Hamilton Street Circuit in 2008. On 5 July 2012, it was announced that V8 Supercars would return to the circuit in 2013 as part of a 5-year deal with the circuit operators following a series of upgrades to accommodate for the series' return.

The changes to the track included a series of corners before the hairpin turn, meaning safer, slower races.[1] The upgrades also included a new race control building, timing building and corporate viewing facility opposite the main grandstand as well as the addition of overhead pedestrian bridges.[2]

In the centre of the circuit there is a thoroughbred training centre, which dictates the use of the site as it owned by the Counties Racing Club Inc. The Club is host to 14 horse race meetings a year and is used six days a week as a stables and training facility.

New Zealand Grand PrixEdit

The New Zealand Grand Prix has been held at Pukekohe on 29 occasions, the first being in 1963, and the last to date being held in 2000. Between 1964 and 1975, the NZ Grand Prix at the circuit was also a round of the Tasman Series. Winners of the NZ Grand Prix at Pukekohe include Kiwis Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Craig Baird, and Paul Radisich, internationals such as Australian Frank Gardner, Italian Teo Fabi, and Brazilian Roberto Moreno, as well as Formula One World Champions John Surtees, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and Keke Rosberg (Rosberg's wins in 1977 and 1978 were before his World Championship win in 1982).

Year Driver Car Entrant
1963   John Surtees Lola Mk4 Climax Bowmaker-Yeoman Credit Team
1964   Bruce McLaren Cooper T170 Climax Bruce McLaren Motor Racing
1965   Graham Hill Brabham BT111A Climax Scuderia Veloce
1966   Graham Hill BRM P261 Owen Racing Organisation
1967   Jackie Stewart BRM P261 R.H.H. Parnell
1968   Chris Amon Ferrari 246T Chris Amon
1969   Chris Amon Ferrari 246T Scuderia Veloce
1970   Frank Matich McLaren M10A Chevrolet Rothmans Team Matich
1971   Niel Allen McLaren M10A Chevrolet N.E. Allen Auto Indust. (Pty) Ltd
1972   Frank Gardner Lola T300 Chevrolet Lola Cars Ltd
1973   John McCormack Elfin MR5 Repco Holden Ansett Team Elfin
1975   Warwick Brown Lola T332 Chevrolet BDS Racing
1976   Ken Smith Lola T332 Chevrolet Ken Smith
1977   Keke Rosberg Chevron B34 Fred Opert Racing
1978   Keke Rosberg Chevron B34
1979   Teo Fabi March 79B
1980   Steve Millen Ralt RT1
1981   Dave McMillan Ralt RT1
1982   Roberto Moreno Ralt RT4 Ford Goold Motorsport
1983   David Oxton Ralt RT4 Ford
1984   Davy Jones Ralt RT4 Ford
1985   Ross Cheever Ralt RT4 Ford
1986   Ross Cheever Ralt RT4 Ford
1987   Davy Jones Ralt RT4 Ford
1988   Paul Radisich Ralt RT4 Ford
1989   Dean Hall Swift Cosworth
1990   Ken Smith Swift Cosworth
1991   Craig Baird Swift Toyota
2000   Andy Booth Reynard 94D Holden NRC International

Supercars ChampionshipEdit

 
View from Ford Mountain during the 2006 V8 Supercars Round

In 2008 the Supercars Championship round in New Zealand moved to the Hamilton Street Circuit so Pukekohe held its final event on the weekend of 20–22 April 2007. In 2013 Supercars returned to Pukekohe after the Auckland government confirmed that stakeholders would put $6.6 million into making the circuit more suitable for Supercars. These upgrades include a new chicane on the back straight, more pedestrian bridges and a makeover of the circuit's appearance.

Lap recordsEdit

  • Outright Lap Record – 59.073s by Glenn Smith, Crawford DP03-Porsche in GTRNZ GT1. Set at 13:47.41 on 01/04/2018.
  • Outright Lap Record (Old Layout) – 52.139s by Glenn Smith, Crawford DP03-Porsche in TradeZone GTRNZ GT1. Set on 09/12/2018

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pukekohe V8s to feature four races". 3 News NZ. 25 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Pukekohe V8s to get $6.6 million revamp". 3news.co.nz. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.

External linksEdit