The 2022 ITM Auckland SuperSprint looks set to be the last Supercars event at Pukekohe Park Raceway following an announcement that the facility will cease to host motorsport events in 2023.
The last motorsport event at the race track/horse-racing course will be on 2 April 2023, before the Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) turns its focus to thoroughbred racing activities at the facility.
“We can appreciate today’s announcement will be big news for many,” said ATR chief executive officer Paul Wilcox.
“Motorsport has undoubtedly had a strong association with Pukekohe Park, becoming synonymous with our racecourse since the first-time cars and bikes raced on it in 1962.
“However, our purpose is to facilitate thoroughbred racing at our Auckland venues with our vision being to provide a sustainable future for our sport in New Zealand.
Pukekohe has hosted the New Zealand Grand Prix on multiple occasions and became home of Supercars in New Zealand in 2001. After a five-year stint in Hamilton, Supercars returned to a redeveloped Pukekohe in 2013 with the 2022 event marking the first Supercars event outside of Australia since 2019.
“Although I am unhappy to be losing use of the park; I understand ATR’s future plans and respect their decision for them to grow their business,” said Gary Stirling, managing director of Pukekohe Motorsport.
“Hearing their plans, it was clear to see that motorsport just could not function at the park in conjunction with the club’s future plans.
“In recent years my team has worked hard to rejuvenate the motorsport facility and bring the sport at Pukekohe back to its former glory. I have enjoyed my time at Pukekohe and would like to thank all those who have attended over the years and been part of its motorsport history.
“The next nine months will be busy for us and I am sure we can all add to the history prior to the last chequered flag.”
Supercars will explore other circuits in New Zealand, with the Tony Quinn-owned Hampton Downs and Highlands the likely replacements.
“While 2022 will mark our final weekend of racing at Pukekohe, we appreciate that through our time racing at the circuit, we have forged great partnerships with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, long-time naming rights partner of the event ITM and amazing support from our loyal Kiwi fans,” said Supercars CEO Shane Howard.
“We have other great venue options available and will now begin discussions regarding our 2023 calendar.”