MotorSport New Zealand Championship promoter Speed Works Events has today announced the full 2018-2019 calendar for the country’s top categories, with a new venue to kick off the Toyota Racing Series and the cementing of summer season dates for the next four years.
Calendar dates have been fixed for the eight events next season and for three full seasons beyond that and whilst circuit venues in some cases still need to be confirmed, dates have been fixed in order to provide competitors, marshals, sponsors, teams and fans with the longest possible lead in time to plan for the meetings.
All championship categories – and the best of the North and South Island classes – have put their hands up to be part of the 2018-2019 series and will run their own series within the Speed Works calendar. BNT V8s, PORTERGROUP V8 Utes, TradeZone GTRNZ, Formula 1600, Hi-Q Components Formula First, Nexen Tyre Mazda Racing, the Porsche Championship, Muscle Cars, Castrol BMW and the ever-expanding Toyota 86 Championship will all be regular fixtures. Formula 5000 will also be back on the calendar with an appearance at the New Zealand Motor Cup meeting at Hampton Downs as part of the season’s biggest single seater weekend.
Speed Works Events pinnacle category – the international Castrol Toyota Racing Series – will continue within the Premier Motorsport Calendar and this season will kick off at the Highlands Motorsport Park for the first time since 2014. This meeting, however, will see all of the country’s major categories racing together at the world class venue for the very first time and it is a race weekend that promoter Geoff Short says represents a huge opportunity for the sport.
“At that time of year Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown are absolutely buzzing not only with domestic holidaymakers but also international guests and the race weekend in Cromwell gives us a real and genuine opportunity to promote an international race weekend to an international audience. And that’s precisely what we intend to do,” he explained.
“The circuit is world class by any standards and all of the categories attending have been keen to return to the venue. It’s right for the sport we go back there and it will be a great way to start the Toyota Racing Series. We think there will be an amazing atmosphere and of course, we all know that the fans down in that part of New Zealand always come out in droves to support major events and motorsport. It should be very exciting.”
Aside from the first weekend, the Toyota series will follow its regular five weekend schedule as it begins its latest search for future F1 stars, culminating in the Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in February. On the way it will visit Teretonga, Hampton Downs and the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo as well as Highlands. Short says it’s a fair balance of North vs South and offers racers a variety of circuit driving and set-up challenges.
“Negotiating the best arrangements for competitors, for the promoter and for the circuit is always a challenge given we are blessed with a number of circuit options,” added Short. “That has been a factor this year as it was with others, but we believe it is very important to share the national series around the venues where it is logistically and financially feasible for competitors and promoters alike.
As in previous seasons, major categories will start their season on the support card for the V8 Supercar Championship round at Pukekohe before moving on to the Speed Works Motorsport Championship calendar.
SPEED WORKS MOTORSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP – 2018-2019
7-9 December 2018 – Pukekohe Park, Pukekohe (Short Circuit)
11-13 January 2019 – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
18-20 January 2019 – Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill
25-27 January 2019 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
1-3 February 2019 – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
8-10 February 2019 – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding
8-10 March 2019 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
13-14 April 2019 – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo