Highlands Motorsport opening programme packed with must-see action

A McLaren M8B CanAm sports car similar to that on display at the National Motorsport Museum at...
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 must-see action.
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 scenery.

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 Richards
  • National Motorsport Museum opening on Sunday by Sir Colin Giltrap, honoured in 2011 for his services to motorsport and philanthropy.
  • 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 venue.
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 includes:

  • 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 themselves.
  • 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.


Add a Comment