Motorsport in New Zealand has landed a massive coup with Hampton Downs Raceway set to host a 12 hour race next year as part of the new Asia Pacific GT Series.
Category organisers SRO (Stephane Ratel Organisation), who run the increasingly popular Blancpain Series in Europe, announced the move overnight with the Hampton Downs 12 Hour race part of a three-leg Asia Pacific Series along with the well-established Sepang 12 Hour and Bathurst 12 Hour events.
It will see many of the leading GT cars and drivers from the Blancpain series head Down Under in 2018 as well as the best drivers from this part of the world. The event will feature the sport's biggest brands and will easily become the most world-renowned race in New Zealand.
The inaugural Hampton Downs 12 Hour race is likely to be staged across the last weekend of October with Sepang early December and Bathurst in mid-January.
Like all good things this hasn't just happened overnight," Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn told Speedcafe.com.
"We have a few other things in the pipeline that will be good for GT over the years."
"It is good to have the support of Stephane and the Bathurst 12 Hours guys have been very good, and if we can join the three events together is good.
"It adds to the whole GT phenomenon."
The North Waikato track will host the Laser Plumbing and Electrical Hampton Downs 500 this October as the penultimate round of the Australian GT Championship.