The New Zealand Motor Cup - one of the oldest and most iconic trophies in Kiwi sport - returns to what many believe is its spiritual home as the Castrol Toyota Racing Series competes for the spectacular trophy at Pukekohe Park over the weekend of February 8th and 9th.
It is the first time the TRS cars will have run at Pukekohe since the first generation machines competed there in 2009 and follows extensive development and resurfacing work at the track. The circuit configuration for the weekend will include the complex on the main straight.
Pukekohe first hosted the race for the trophy in 1963 and the race remained at the track right through until 1995 - a period that included the Tasman, Formula 5000, Formula Pacific and Formula Holden eras of New Zealand single seater motor racing. It was contested at Pukekohe again in 2000 before a gap of five years. It was back at Pukekohe as part of the original Toyota Racing Series from 2006 where it was contested for four subsequent seasons.
Winners over the decades have included Formula One world champions John Surtees, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill and Keke Rosberg as well as other motorsport legends such as Bruce McLaren, Stirling Moss, Prince Bira, Reg Parnell and Chris Amon. More recent Kiwi racers feature prominently on the role of honour as previous winners too, with Craig Baird, Greg Murphy, Simon Wills, Mitch Evans and Ken Smith with two wins each and Paul Radisich, David Oxton, Dave McMillan, Steve Millen, Andy Booth, Andy Knight, Mitch Cunningham, Nick Cassidy and Marcus Armstrong all with a victory in the historic race to their name.
The New Zealand Motor Cup will be the final race of the weekend on Sunday February 9th and the third for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series over the weekend at the venue. A packed support bill for the historic meeting of eleven classes will include the fourth round of the exciting new TCR touring car class, the rejuvenated New Zealand Formula Ford 1600 championship and the grassroots Formula First category. Also on the bill are the Motul Honda Cup, the Ssangyong Actyon Ute Series and Formula Libre - as well as the three BMW classes of E30, 2 Litre and Open.
The new Australian S5000 series is also pencilled in for the Pukekohe weekend as one of two appearances it will make in New Zealand and should be a stunning support category to the main feature race.
The Saturday evening of the weekend will also include a round of the New Zealand D1NZ drifting championship, meaning the action will definitely be from dawn until dusk to keep the fans happy and entertained.
On the grid at Pukekohe
Castrol Toyota Racing Series
New Zealand Formula Ford Championship
Hi-Q Components Formula First
BMW 2 Litre
Ssangyong Actyon Ute Racing
Motul Honda Cup