A McLaren M8B CanAm sports car similar to that on display
at the National Motorsport Museum at Highlands, on loan
from the Bruce McLaren Trust.
The long-anticipated opening of Highlands Motorsport Park
occurs this Easter weekend and the programme is packed with
Celebrating 100 years of motorsport in New Zealand, the
Cromwell-based development has been described as a "Disneyland
for motorsport fans" and the weekend's events are the public's
chance to enjoy the ride.
The brand-new 4.5km international-standard circuit will
change the landscape of motorsport in New Zealand. Make sure
you are part of history by being there on Saturday, March 30
and Sunday, March 31 when the gates are opened for the first
time. Head along to see race cars on the track that are
normally only seen in museums, meet famous Kiwi race drivers,
enjoy good food and soak up the breathtaking Central Otago
A limited number of tickets are available through Ticketek,
so purchase yours now!
The programme of on-track activities is the same on Saturday
and Sunday and some highlights include:
- Official opening of the Highlands Motorsport Park track
on Saturday by celebrated New Zealand racing driver Jim
- National Motorsport Museum opening on Sunday by Sir Colin
Giltrap, honoured in 2011 for his services to motorsport and
- Demonstration laps by New Zealand and internationally
significant race cars from 1906-2013 including a McLaren MP4
12C-GT3 supercar, 1906 Darracq grand prix car, PDL Mustang
II, Texaco Sierra Cosworth, Zakpeed Escorts, McLaren M23 F1
car, Stanton Cropduster, Fahey FVC Escort. There will be
almost 60 spectacular cars in all, many of which have not
been seen before in the South Island.
- Lunchtime entertainment ensures there won't be a dull
moment with a Superkart demonstration, sailing boats on the
lake, the GT Radials Ute performing and drifters getting
sideways in the skid pan.
- Be sure to be trackside at 1pm when the McLaren MP4
12C-GT3 supercar departs Gasoline Alley (followed by a
helicopter), with ultra-successful New Zealand race driver
Craig Baird behind the wheel, to set the lap record.
- Laps for pairs of matched cars: witness a Zakspeed Escort
versus a Ferrari 288GTO; a Ford GT versus Ford GT; Aston
Martin versus McLaren; FVC Escort versus Texaco Sierra;
Bastos Rover versus BMW; plus pairs of Formula Fords, Toyota
Racing Series single seaters and Shellsport Datsuns all
pitted against each other.
- For the first time in New Zealand, V8 Supertourers and
NZV8s will meet for combined laps. Watch them go
head-to-head, with Greg Murphy and other top drivers on
board. A rally-car exhibit of up to 15 cars, ranging from
classics like Christchurch owner Tony Gosling's immaculate
Stadium Cars BDA Escort that top Kiwi international rally
driver Hayden Paddon drove in last year's Rally of Otago,
through to modern Mitsubishi Evos. The highlight will be the
works Audi Quattro originally driven by Finnish driver and
world rally champion Hannu Mikkola that will also be in
action on the track.
- Visit the new Highlands National Motorsport Museum Your
chance to meet motorsport legends Greg Murphy, Jim Richards
and Craig Baird.
Tickets are available through Ticketek. Go to www.ticketek.co.nz, or for
phone/credit card bookings 0800 TICKETEK. Tickets also
available at the Nose Restaurant, Cromwell.
$35 per ticket for adults. All adults will receive a
complimentary commemorative programme. $15 per ticket for
child/junior (5-15 years), under-fives free.
$90 for a family pass (2 adults, 2 children). Buy your ticket
before March 22 to go in the draw to win one of two FASTLaps
in a Porsche GT3 Cup car. The Highlands Motorsport Park
opening is a general-admission event and no seating will be
supplied. Patrons may bring their own chairs into the
Gates open at 9am Saturday and Sunday. Track activity starts
at 10.30am and ends about 3.30pm. Carparking is available in
two locations, accessed from Sandflat Rd and Cemetery Rd.
No glass, dogs or alcoholic beverages are permitted at the
venue. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted.
Get your "Corporate Carload" package now. Each package
- Four adult entry tickets
- One corporate car pass
- Four commemorative programmes
- Four seats at a table in the lower level of the museum
with outside access to the corporate area. Note: These are
tables of eight, so if you have just one carload you will be
sharing. Two carloads will have a table of eight to
- Lunch platters during the day from 11.30am
- A carafe of The Nose Pinot Gris per table
- Corporate toilet facilities
- Easy access to the bar and café area
This offer is limited to 70 carloads each day. Cost: $350
(including GST) per carload (four adults). Choose Saturday,
March 30 or Sunday, March 31.