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Is a Supercars NZ doubleheader more realistic now?

A NEW Zealand doubleheader has always made sense to the outsider but never become a reality in Supercars.

Part of the problem perhaps boiled down to the source of funding previously.

Auckland Unlimited (formerly ATEED) underpinned the visits to Pukekohe Park Raceway, the only circuit in the Auckland district.

And so it made sense to gear the market towards that one event to maximise the return on investment for Auckland.

For example, having a second New Zealand round at another venue could have dissuaded non-Auckland residents from travelling to the region and spending money there for the one and only chance to see Supercars that year – when they could otherwise simply wait for the other, closer event.

The shutdown of motorsport activities at Pukekohe last month has changed the landscape.

For 2023, that sees zero Supercars events in New Zealand.

With Pukekohe out of the picture, Supercars is working hard with the national government (New Zealand Major Events) on a return of some sort as soon as next year.

Taupo Motorsport Park on the central North Island is the favourite at this stage.

But with federal funding now the go instead of local, does that actually open the door to a long-touted doubleheader?

Not right now, it seems.

“I honestly think it’s difficult to have a doubleheader,” Supercars CEO Shane Howard told V8 Sleuth.

“The thought process around it is it costs a lot of money to freight cars and get the show to New Zealand and there’s a very strong palette from the fans.

“Our focus is that we want to be back in New Zealand and we want to lock this in as soon as possible and we want to have a long-term agreement with New Zealand.

“Getting one event there is the priority.”

Maybe it’s a prospect that can be reconsidered once New Zealand’s place on the schedule is cemented.

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