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Dates locked in for Supercars’ Taupo debut

THE first dates on the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship calendar are officially set in stone.

The category’s inaugural visit to Taupo Motorsport Park has been announced as April 19-21 next year.

Supercars last month reached a three-year deal through 2026 to race at the central North Island circuit, with the event to be known as the ITM Taupo SuperSprint.

New Zealand has held just one round in the past four years, initially due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and then Pukekohe Park Raceway’s closure.

“Ever since the first championship event here in 2001, Supercars has become one of New Zealand’s largest attended annual sporting events,” said New Zealand Major Events manager Kylie Hawker-Green.

“After a year’s hiatus we are excited to be able to help reconnect the tens of thousands of fans from across New Zealand with their favourite teams and drivers, as well as welcome thousands of Australian visitors to Taupo and the surrounding regions.

“The Government’s Major Event Fund is proud to help lock in the return of Supercars by investing $5 million over the next three ITM Taupo SuperSprints.

“We are confident the Taupo round will add to the rich history of Supercar events in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

As was the case at Pukekohe, the Taupo round winner will be awarded the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.

Four Kiwi drivers will be in the mix: Andre Heimgartner (Brad Jones Racing), Ryan Wood (Walkinshaw Andretti United), Matt Payne and Richie Stanaway (both Grove Racing).

“We had an incredible response to the announcement earlier this month and as a result we’re trying to ensure we cover all options for ticketing before we go on sale,” said Supercars CEO Shane Howard.

“We anticipate having grandstand, general admission, corporate and other ticketing options confirmed and on sale in just a few weeks’ time.

“The venue is incredible. To think that in just over 200 days this entire venue will be filled with fans as Supercars race here is very exciting.”

The other likely 2024 dates known at this point is Albert Park – the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will take place on March 22-24, although Supercars’ renewal as a support category there is yet to be confirmed.

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