New Zealand Grand Prix promoter Speed Works Events and Feilding and Palmerston North Councils are underway with a major joint initiative that will see around 45,000 households in the region offered a free weekend ticket to the New Zealand Grand Prix at Circuit Chris Amon over the weekend of February 9, 10 and 11. 

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

Each rates bill currently being sent to households includes a unique promotional code that the recipient can redeem easily on the Speed Works web site for a full weekend ticket to the Grand Prix worth $70.

That means a potential ticket giveaway value of $3.15 million – the biggest ever promotion for a domestic motorsport event in New Zealand and a clear signal that the promoter is aiming for a capacity crowd and to put the annual race back on the top five major sporting events calendar for the first time in decades.

The GP is held annually as the climax of the international Toyota Racing Series. Based in New Zealand and with a tight five week schedule, state of the art racing machinery and a calendar that falls in the Northern hemisphere’s off-season, TRS regularly attracts the best up and coming single seater drivers in the world. Williams racer Lance Stroll, ex-Toro Rosso racer Danil Kvyat and likely McLaren F1 racer of the future Lando Norris have all raced in the series in recent seasons. And New Zealand F1 driver Brendon Hartley is also a graduate.

“The councils in the region have made a real effort to keep the Grand Prix at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon and this is not only a great way to thank them, but also something unique to try and drive some very big crowd numbers to the meeting and put this event properly back on the map where it belongs as a major New Zealand sporting event,” explained Speed Works Geoff Short.

“We are firmly focussed on raising the game dramatically for this event and securing a capacity crowd is not just good for the sport, it will also help secure the future of the event at Feilding. In our opinion there has never been a better incentive to come along and see the action.

“A promotion of this size has serious potential and could obviously provide a huge economic benefit to Feilding and the immediate region, but people have to get along and support it. It’s a golden opportunity to see our biggest annual single seater race, an international race which is of course one of only two outside of Formula One that can call itself a Grand Prix. A huge crowd is what we want to see for the event and we are comfortable that even with one free weekend ticket offered, there will be significant spending at the event to help make the promotion worthwhile for everyone.

“As well as all of that, it’s obviously going to be a very big year for motor racing in the area. The signs are good that local boy Brendon Hartley will be a full time F1 driver next season and combined with the other successful Kiwi racers we are hearing more and more about, that’s only going to make a day at the Grand Prix even more appealing.”

Speed Works has already lined up a significant array of categories representing the best of what New Zealand domestic motor racing has to offer and is already running a discounted Early Bird ticket offer on its web site with 35% off February gate prices.