Supercars still exploring NZ options

Supercars says it will continue to explore its options for a return to New Zealand once Pukekohe Park is closed.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

The famous Pukekohe circuit hosted Supercars for the final time last weekend ahead of its impending closure early next year.

A bumper sold out crowd turned out for the event with local star Shane van Gisbergen giving the track a fitting farewell with a stunning win on Sunday evening.

There were also reports of merchandise outlets running out of stock by the end of the weekend.

In a statement provided to media following the event, Supercars CEO Shane Howard thanked the Kiwi fans for turning out in force.

He also said the series is continuing to work on options for its future in New Zealand post-Pukekohe.

Supercars is looking to scale its calendar back to 12 rounds next season, with NZ currently no certainty to be retained on the schedule.

"What a fitting farewell this weekend’s event was here at Pukekohe," Howard said.

"We would like to thank the many thousands of fans that came out in force across all three days, with a sold out crowd on Sunday capping off years of success at this amazing venue.

"That moment on Sunday afternoon when the crowd rose as one to celebrate Shane van Gisbergen’s emotional victory to claim the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy will go down as one of the most memorable in our sport’s history.

"Following on from the success of this weekend’s event, we will continue to explore the potential for future hosting of the Repco Supercars Championship events in New Zealand."

Hampton Downs has long been considered the logical replacement for Pukekohe given its proximity to Auckland.

However that would still require negotiations with Aukland Unlimited, which funds the event, given it is technically across the border in Waikato.

There are also whispers of concerns over some of the infrastructure at the track.

Taupo International Motorsport Park is another option understood to be under consideration by Supercars.

A move that far from Auckland, however, would likely require federal funding from NZ, as would any potential shift to the South Island.

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