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Supercars working on 2024 NZ return

THE Repco Supercars Championship hopes it can return to New Zealand as soon as 2024 after failing to secure a deal for next season.

The recent Auckland SuperSprint in September proved a spectacular event, as Supercars travelled across the ditch for the first time since the pandemic.

However, the closure of Pukekohe Park Raceway to motorsport activities next April has thrown a spanner in the works for the future.

It’s known that Supercars’ preference for 2023 was to sort a replacement event in New Zealand, with The Bend only eventually making the cut as a plan B.

MORE: The full 2023 Repco Supercars Championship calendar

Supercars CEO Shane Howard said focus has now shifted to longer term regarding New Zealand.

“We are still in progressive talks with our counterparts there for an event in the future, however as they continue it is in the best interest of all parties involved to focus on 2024 and beyond.

“We have every intention to return to New Zealand and we are confident of an announcement in the new year regarding a partnership with a new venue.”

Notably, Supercars’ communications made no reference to Auckland Unlimited (formerly ATEED), which had underpinned rounds at Pukekohe.

Pukekohe falls just within the Auckland catchment; Hampton Downs, the most likely successor, does not.

A member of New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was instead quoted.

“Major international events generate significant economic, social and cultural benefits for Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Kylie Hawker-Green, MBIE manager for New Zealand major events.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has previously supported the V8 Supercar events with $2.2 million over five years from the former Major Events Development Fund and will continue to liaise with event organisers to consider how the government could support the event returning to Aotearoa New Zealand in future.”

Among the nation’s other tracks which could potentially be considered are Highlands, Taupo and Ruapuna.

Hampton Downs, Highlands and Taupo are all owned by popular motorsport figure Tony Quinn.

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