SUPERCARS’ broadcast will pay tribute to Pukekohe Park Raceway’s place in motorsport history when the championship makes its final visit to the New Zealand circuit next month.
By the end of the September 9-11 event, Pukekohe will have hosted 45 Repco Supercars Championship races spanning 2001-07, 2013-19, and finally this year.
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing, which owns the North Island venue, announced last month it will no longer hold motorsport activities from April 2023.
Having opened in 1963, it was home of the New Zealand Grand Prix for several decades, attracting names such as Sir Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Graham Hill, John Surtees and Keke Rosberg.
From the mid-1980s to early 90s another prominent event, the Pukekohe 500, hosted touring car stars from Australia and around the world.
Its winners included Jim Richards, Denny Hulme, Larry Perkins, Allan Grice, Dick Johnson, John Bowe, Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Glenn Seton.
Kiwis have utterly dominated the Supercars Championship in recent years, with Scott McLaughlin and now Shane van Gisbergen the class of the field.
Although New Zealand has several other circuits which are in contention to join future Supercars calendars, the opportunity will be taken to make the Pukekohe farewell as special as can be.
That will be kicked off by Pukekohe: The final lap at the top of the Fox Sports broadcast on Friday, September 9.
“Across the whole weekend we’ll celebrate Pukekohe and its history and the famous names who’ve raced there and won there,” Supercars head of broadcast David Tunnicliffe told V8 Sleuth.
“It will be Friday afternoon in the lead-in to Practice 1, we’ll be on Fox Sports, we’ll do a special program, Pukekohe: The final lap.
“We’ll look back at some of the big moments there, celebrate the people who have won Supercars races there and also the big names in motorsport who raced there before Supercars were there.
“There’s some incredible names from years gone by, so we’ll celebrate those people, celebrate those moments, and really start the celebration of the final weekend at Puke.”
Four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy will join the television team for the event.
“Murph is obviously the King of Pukekohe so it was a no-brainer to get him back involved,” said Tunnicliffe.
“He’ll be combining his racing duties at Pukekohe across that weekend with some additional TV duties.
“It will be great to have him back as part of the team.”