The Repco Supercars Championship returns to New Zealand for the first time in three years, though it’s a bittersweet occasion as the last Supercars round to be held at Pukekohe Park Raceway. As such, New Zealand’s own championship dominator Shane van Gisbergen, André Heimgartner and Chris Pither will be hoping to give the locals one final win over the Australians at Pukekohe.
The SupercarXtra Magazine-produced ITM Auckland SuperSprint program is your must-have guide to the event. The program will be on sale in print form at the event and is available to order in digital form online.
CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of the program.
A lot has changed since the Repco Supercars Championship last raced in New Zealand in September 2019. Drivers and teams have come, gone and swapped around, and yet the one constant has been New Zealanders leading the way in the Australian-based championship.
Kiwis Scott McLaughlin and van Gisbergen were battling it out for the championship in 2019. And now, with McLaughlin winning races in the IndyCar Series, van Gisbergen is left as the Supercars dominator. He arrives on home soil in commanding form, as he edges closer to what will be a third Supercars championship.
Van Gisbergen will also be gunning for a third round win at Pukekohe, in the final Supercars round at the circuit before it closes to motorsport activities in 2023.
While Supercars is committed to racing in New Zealand with a new circuit set to replace Pukekohe next year, bragging rights are on the line between the Australians and New Zealanders with seven round wins each at the circuit since 2001. Greg Murphy (four), van Gisbergen (two) and McLaughlin have won for New Zealand, while Jason Bright (two), Jamie Whincup (two), Mark Skaife, Rick Kelly and Mark Winterbottom have won for Australia. Van Gisbergen, André Heimgartner and Chris Pither are the only representatives on the grid for New Zealand, out to maintain local pride.
The ITM Auckland SuperSprint consists of three 115-kilometre races – Race 27, 28 and 29 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, with the latter the last race before the big one, the Repco Bathurst 1000 at the Mount Panorama Circuit in October.
The grid for Saturday’s Race 27 will be determined by a three-part knockout qualifying format, while Sunday’s Race 28 and 29 will be set by a single qualifying session each.
Dunlop’s hard tyre will be used exclusively across the event, with a compulsory pitstop for a minimum of two tyres for each race. The hard tyre is preferred given the high loads at Pukekohe. And with Bathurst also run exclusively on the hard tyre, it will be valuable preparation for the Great Race for drivers and teams.
The on-track support bill includes the Toyota 86 Racing Series, Central Muscle Cars, Historic Touring Cars and Formula Ford.