Pukekohe will be graced by Supercars for the final time this weekend with the ITM Auckland SuperSprint beginning today. It’s a jam-packed schedule with Historic Touring Cars, Toyota 86s, Napa Central Muscle Cars, Formula Ford, and, of course, Supercars all taking to the track.
A massive contingent of 147 cars will compete across five categories over the event headlined by the Australian Supercars.
Below we have information about each of the series, the schedule of events and attendee information, including permitted food and drink, merchandise locations, family zone information and parking options.
All events will be televised live on Sky Sport 5 (055).
In traditional sprint format, Supercars will race three times over the weekend, with one race on Saturday and two on Sunday. Qualifying for Saturday’s Race 27 will be three-part elimination, whilst Sunday will have two timed sessions from 10.50am.
Shane van Gisbergen will head into the three-race event as a clear favorite to take round honours. The Red Bull ace has claimed 16 race wins so far this year, needing only three more to beat the season-record of 18 set by compatriot Scott McLaughlin in 2019.
He leads the championship battle by 500 points over Tickford driver Cam Waters, with Shell V-Power duo Anton de Pasquale and Will Davison not far behind in third and fourth respectively.
Things are tighter in the Dunlop Teams Championship, with Red Bull holding a 196-point lead over Shell V-Power. A good weekend for the latter could set this title up for a good battle come the closing stages of the season.
Andre Heimgartner is the second best-placed Kiwi in the field, currently sitting 10th in a tight mid-field. A strong showing at his home event could see him shoot up the order to sit well inside the top drivers of the field.
Chris Pither is also showing improved form of late and will be one to watch with a home crowd in support. The Coca-Cola Racing driver sits in 22nd, a strong showing this weekend likely to see him break into the top 20.
The massive 29-car field will contest three races, with one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday’s qualifying will also be hotly contested with a $500 reward for top-spot provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy, a part of the increased $66,000 prize pool from the Tony Quinn Foundation.
The 2022/23 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series only got underway last weekend at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding, but competition was fierce across all three races. Liam Sceats managed to claim all three race victories, but results only partially do the talking as he was made to work in each of them.
Blake Dowdall and current New Zealand champion, Alex Crosbie, also had good weekends but will need a strong showing at Pukekohe to ensure Sceats doesn’t pull away atop the championship ladder.
Added to the field at the event are a strong contingent of 10 South Island Formula Ford cars, including current South Island Champion Zac Christensen and 2019/20 South Island champion Jack Noble-Adams. Veteran Formula Ford ambassador Ken Smith is also entered to take part.
The round winner will also score $750 and $230 Napa account credit, with second place receiving $500 and third claiming $250.
Historic Touring Cars
The 2022/23 Archibalds Historic Touring Cars season commences this weekend with an impressive grid of 33 drivers across three classes. This includes 13 Group A cars, four New Zealand Schedule S cars and 13 Supertourers.
Legendary Kiwi driver Greg Murphy will be competing in a Ford Sierra across all three races, as will veteran Australian racer John Bowe. Steven Richards is also confirmed in the field, racing Murray Sinclair’s Nissen Primera Supertourer.
Paul Radisich also appears in a stacked field, competing in a 1995 Wolf Ford Mondeo.
This will be the first, and most likely last, time the series races at the circuit, with two races on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Twenty cars, including three former champions, will take to the track at this weekends Toyota 86 proceedings at the Pukekohe SuperSprint. Whilst not competing in an official championship round, competition will be strong as drivers compete for a share of an amazing prize pool worth $25,000, the biggest for a single weekend of racing in the history of the Toyota 86 Championship.
2018/19 champion and current Australian Carrera Cup driver Callum Hedge makes the trip home across the Tasman for the event, whilst 2019-20 champion Peter Vodanovich will also make an appearance.
“I’m super excited to come back to NZ and have some fun in the 86s at the Pukekohe Supercars round,” Hedge said in an interview earlier this week.
“I don’t get to drive in NZ very often nowadays so it’s great to be racing on home soil again. I will also be running with Ian McNabb and Todd Bickerton who ran me to the 2018/19 title for CareVets so I am very excited to work with them again.”
Front runners from last season’s championship Justin Allen, Brock Gilchrist and Dion Pitt are on the entry list, as well as long-time former competitor Connor Adam and reigning class champion John Penny.
The series will race three times in the event, with two on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Central Muscle Cars
The 7-round Napa Central Muscle Cars championship will begin at this weekends racing at Pukekohe. Two classes of muscle cars produced between 1958-1978 will be on show, with a massive pool of 39 cars competing over four races, with two on both Saturday and Sunday.
Celebrating its 20th birthday this season, 2021 champion Craig Boote will return with an aim to defend his title in his Mustang, as will a selection of New Zealand motorsport veterans including Angus Fogg and Tony Galbraith.
Also returning to the pack will be Rodney Heads in his two-door Torana following a full rebuild of the car after rolling at Taupo last year.
The series will head to Manfeild in November, before returning to Pukekohe the following month. With Round 7 scheduled around the time Pukekohe is set to close, we may see the series compete up to three times at the venue this season.
All times are in NZST.
Friday, September 9:
|11.05-11.25||Toyota 86||Practice 1|
|11.35-11.55||Central Muscle Cars||Practice|
|12.05-12.25||Formula Ford||Practice 1|
|12.35-12.55||Toyota 86||Practice 2|
|1.35-1.55||Formula Ford||Practice 2|
|3.25-3.40||Central Muscle Cars||Qualifying|
Saturday, September 10:
|10.10-10.30||Toyota 86||Race 1|
|11.05-11.25||Central Muscle Cars||Race 1|
|1.25-1.45||Toyota 86||Race 2|
|3.10-3.25||Central Muscle Cars||Race 2|
|3.35-3.55||Formula Ford||Race 1|
|4.40 (41 Laps)||Supercars||Race 27|
Sunday, September 11:
|9.50-10.05||Central Muscle Cars||Race 3|
|10.15-10.35||Formula Ford||Race 2|
|12.05-12.25||Toyota 86||Race 3|
|12.50 (41 Laps)||Supercars||Race 28|
|2.20-2.40||Central Muscle Cars||Race 4|
|2.50-3.10||Formula Ford||Race 3|
|3.55 (41 Laps)||Supercars||Race 29|
Food & Drink:
- There will be a range of food and beverage available for purchase at the venue.
- All outlets will take cash or card.
- You may bring in limited quantities of food and drink, but no glass.
- You may not bring in alcohol, it will be available for purchase at the venue, however.
- Bars will open at 10am daily and close at 6pm.
- Merchandise stands are located on either side of the service road at the top of the hill between Gate 2 and 3.
- All outlets will take cash or card.
- Family Zone features bouncy castles, an inflatable slide, an obstacle course, face painters, and much more.
- The family zone is located between gates 2 and 3.
- Children aged 12 and under are free to enter the venue in general admission areas.
- They must always be accompanied by their ticket-holding parent or guardian.
- Children require tickets for hospitality and grandstand areas.
- Public parking will be available to purchase at the Pukekohe Showgrounds for $20 per car
- The walk from the Showgrounds takes roughly 20 minutes, along Subway Road and Manukau Road.
- This option is for Saturday and Sunday only
- There is no additional public parking available within the event precinct.
- Train travel is 50% off over the weekend. Trains do, however, only go as far as Papakura.
- Plan your journey with AT Journey Planner
- Do expect traffic congestion heading to and from the event, especially on Manukau and Buckland Roads.
- Accessible car parking is located in Carpark A with a disabled parking pass. You will be allocated a space closest to Gate 2A.
- There are limited accessible parking spaces which will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
Tickets for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint can be purchased here.