Circuit feature News Richard Craill July 19, 2022 (Comments off) (144)

Original Pukekohe circuit section on the market

REPORTS out of New Zealand are indicating – again – that the end could be near for the iconic Pukekohe Park Raceway, located South of Auckland.

New Zealand website Velocity News reported today that the circuit owners, the Counties Racing Club, are selling a large chunk of the property – including parts of the original circuit layout that are now used for support race paddocks during larger meetings at the venue.

Speculation indicates that the circuit could be closed in April next year, meaning this year’s Supercars’ event – launched in New Zealand today – could well be its last.

The Supercars will return for their 15th visit to the circuit (as a championship event) this September 10-11 following a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The round was only recently formally confirmed on the 2022 schedule following doubts over its continuation on account of the current global freight crisis.

The situation was resolved recently, with the 2022 event formally launched today.

In the meantime, the opportunity exists to purchase a small tract of NZ Racing heritage, with part of the foundation layout used when racing began at the venue now up for grabs.

Regardless of the future of the venue, the 4.17ha land offered for sale includes almost 400m of bitumen that formed part of Pukekohe’s original layout dating back to the early 1960s.

The large tract of land, located at 222/250 Manukau Road, Pukekohe Park, includes what was the original turn 2.

Utilised between 1963 and 1966, Pukekohe’s original layout saw cars turn left following the start-finish line, before turning into a long, early-apex right hander and then a long back-straight that followed the current border of the property.

That then re-joined the current circuit on the entry to turn four, just beyond the always-exciting Turn 2-3 chicane.

In total, the original layout was more than 3.5km long, as opposed to the current 2.9km layout (including the back chicane).

The original layout was changed in 1967, removing the then-Turn 2 and long straight, delivering instead the now-iconic Turn 1 that is one of the showpiece corners of the high-speed layout.

The area of land is being offered for sale via private treaty by local estate agents, Colliers, for commercial use. You can check out the listing here.

Much like Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, Pukekohe’s double-act as a horse racing venue and location within a suburban location have led to years of speculation about its future.

Reports last year that an amalgamation between the Counties Racing Club and Auckland Racing Club would prove a threat to motorsport at the venue were strongly denied by the leaseholder for motorsport, Gary Stirling.

Pukekohe is one of New Zealand’s most historic circuits and hosted the New Zealand Grand Prix every year between 1963 and 1991 – and then again in 2001.

Australian Touring Cars / Supercars first raced there in 1996 as a non-championship event, before returning for points in 2001.

After a brief divergence to nearby Hamilton and their street race, Supercars returned to the venue in 2013 where they have remained since.

IMAGES: Courtesy Colliers Real Estate

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