Taupo International Motorsport Park joins the GT club
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New owner Tony Quinn says he plans to “revitalise” Taupo International Motorsport Park, with the first move being the introduction of the GT Membership programme already employed at his Highlands (Cromwell) and Hampton Downs (Waikato) facilities.
“On the back of the initial success of the membership at Highlands in the South Island over nine years ago now, Taupō was identified as the ideal North Island track for a membership programme,” says Quinn. “People can stay in the region with their families, spend a day at the track and enjoy all the other great things Taupō has to offer.”
His initial plan to purchase the Taupo track didn’t come off back then, but it was completed in December last year. Renovations are under way and additions will include facility upgrades and a new go-kart track, a sister circuit to those at Highlands and Hampton Downs. It will open before summer.
While high-level motorsport events will continue to be a key part of the track, the GT Membership model is an important part of making it a viable concern. As with Quinn’s other tracks, members pay joining and annual fees and enjoy special privileges, including up to 80 sessions per year on the circuit.
However, Quinn says Taupo’s regular racing programmes will remain, and hopefully expand: “The one thing we really want to make Taupō famous for is the historic Grand Prix. New Zealand has got a lot of history with those cars and it’s just such a great weekend of racing.
“But we’re also talking with the likes of the Australian Superbike Series (ASBK) about making a trip next year, nothing is confirmed, but they have certainly spoken favourably about Taupō as a potential Trans-Tasman destination.
“Taupō gives us a big opportunity to establish another destination track,” says Josie Spillane, chief executive of Highlands, Hampton and now Taupo. “The wider Taupō region offers so much, and we want the track to be re-established as a big player in tourism, conferencing and business events.”