Grand Prix shaping up with much bigger crowd

Attendance at the New Zealand Grand Prix race meeting at Manfeild on February 9-11 will definitely be boosted by a regional ticket giveaway promotion.

Will the 2018 GP winner be welcomed by a bumper crowd? That’s Speed Works’plan.

Promoter Speedworks Events, working in conjunction with the Manawatu District Council and Palmerston North City Council, provided the offer on a flier that arrived along with the November 2017 rates bill.

Commenting on the return, Manawatu District mayor Helen Worboys explained: “This is a key event in the national racing calendar and for Feilding. The generous offer of the free tickets from the race promoter to our district’s ratepayers demonstrates the organiser’s commitment to growing the event and making it more accessible to everyone in our community.”

Palmerston North City mayor Grant Smith added: “The NZGP is one of world motorsport’s true Grand Prix and the 2018 race marks 50 years since our hometown hero, Chris Amon, first won this title.

“I believe this ticket promotion should attract a crowd of 8000-plus, a level of attendance that was common during Amon’s heyday.”

The most prestigious event in New Zealand motorsport has been a massive success story for Manfeild. The race first came to the Feilding track in 1992, with the current hosting rights’ period dating back to 2008.

Since then it has been contested on Circuit Chris Amon by the Toyota Racing Series, created by Palmerston North-based Toyota New Zealand, as the culmination of a five-round world-class championship, comprising two rounds in the South Island and two others in the North.

The quality of competition in 2018 has proven exceptional with four winners after the South Island’s six races. Despite the strong overseas’ presence Marcus Armstrong, a Christchurch driver bidding to establish an international career, is leading the points table going into the third consecutive weekend.

The 2018 NZGP is the first operated under a new arrangement, which spans three years and involves Manfeild hiring the venue out to Speedworks Events, which wholly runs the event.