Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
|Location||North Waikato, New Zealand|
|Time zone||UTC +12|
|Major events||Toyota Racing Series|
Australian GT Championship
NZ Drift Series
NZ Festival of Motor Racing
NZ Touring Car Championship
World Rally Championship
Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific
|Length||3.8 km (2.361 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:27.637 (Michael Lyons, , 2017, Historic Formula 1)|
|Length||2.8 km (1.740 mi)|
|Race lap record||0:59.483 (Michael Lyons, , 2014, F5000)|
|Length||1.2 km (0.745 mi)|
The Hampton Downs Motorsport Park is situated in rural northern Waikato (about halfway between Auckland and Hamilton on the Waikato Expressway), New Zealand near the Meremere drag strip and the dirt track club. The motorsport park is an ambitious privately-funded enterprise with construction beginning in February 2007. The completion was planned for late 2008, but a particularly wet winter pushed the opening out to October 2009. It is a major venue for local motorsport without the restrictions imposed by tracks that share the use with the horse racing fraternity like Pukekohe Park Raceway. It also reflects a modern approach to motor race track design and associated amenities. The 450ha development's initial plans also included an industrial park, events cafe, motor lodge, lifestyle blocks, 80-trackside apartments and convention centre (re-located Britomart Pavilion) and the track is already booked out five days a week for driver training and various industry promotions.
In 2015, Tony Quinn purchased the uncompleted complex and work started almost immediately to complete, based very much on the original plans. Currently being completed are hospitality suites, whilst an SUV Course has been running since 2013. A corporate karting circuit, business park, business apartments (with seven-car garages) and a museum, with administration centre and cafe are also in the short term plans.
Hampton Downs is now arguably the most technically advanced race circuit in the world, with complete integration between Alitrax control, start lights, flag point lights, pit lane lights, CCTV system, Mylaps timing, environmental sound monitoring, pit lane speed monitoring and large outdoor LED information displays. Most day to day operations are now fully automated including a vehicle safety system that monitors all vehicles on track and alerts the operator within 30sec if a vehicle stops on track.
The track consists of two independent circuits that can be combined to form one large circuit. The direction of the circuits are clockwise. The track has a very smooth surface, and a mix of blind bends and crests which make it a challenging circuit for drivers. The front straight is 950m long with a kink in the middle and has a 11m rise and fall, and the back straight is 750m long. The international circuit, which incorporates the long front straight and pit facilities, is 2.8 km long with seven corners. The club circuit is 1.2 km long with four corners. Both tracks can combine into a 3.8 km circuit with six right-hand and four left-hand corners.
The 450ha includes 80-trackside apartments set in four blocks on the main straight, all of which were sold out within three weeks during September 2004. Many of the apartments are offered to rent as part of a motel and are able to accommodate up to six people. Ultimately, the complex will include a swimming pool, tennis court, fitness club and restaurant for the use of residents and guests.
Track facilities and specification
The track has been designed for FIA Level 2 usage, which is just one step below Formula One. Apart from racing, there will be an emphasis on the testing and driver training facility. Downforce will run driver training (instructed by A1GP veteran Jonny Reid) and corporate events at Hampton Downs. California Superbike School have signed up and base its New Zealand fleet of Suzuki GSXR600s at Hampton Downs to deliver professional rider training between-races events at Hampton Downs, as an extension of its worldwide network.
The Hampton Downs circuit was immortalized in the rFactor game by way of third-party generated content based off the early plans made before construction was initially complete. This content is available to download for public use.
The track has hosted several major events since it opened in 2009. The circuit also hosts a round of the Toyota Racing Series each summer, with three races being held during the event and the New Zealand Motor Cup being contested over the final race. The V8SuperTourer series held two yearly events at the circuit from its inception until its demise. The newly formed NZ Touring Car Championship now contests there annually. Many other events are held other the year[clarification needed] including national events as well as local events.
Lap records are only considered if set during the race.
Official Race Lap Records:
- International 3.8km Record - 1:27.637 by Michael Lyons in Historic F1 - https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/4257595
- National 2.8km Record - 0:59.483 by Michael Lyons in F5000 - https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/2955354
- National 2.8km Record for Production Based Vehicles - 0:59.645 by Glenn Smith in GTRNZ/GT1 - https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/4752918
Official Qualifying/Practice times faster than the Race Lap Records:
- National 2.8km Record - 0:59.119 by Brandon Maisano in TRS - https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Sessions/3368147
- Kara Segedin (2009-10-27). "Motorsport: New track has vvvroom with a view". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Jacqui Madelin (2009-11-08). "Motorsport: Opening blast on intriguing track". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- http://www.hamptondowns.com/pages/65/the-circuit.htm Hampton Downs-The Circuit
- HamptonDowns (2008-05-14). "Hot Lap on Hampton Downs". youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Eric Thompson (2009-07-01). "Motorsport: Hampton Downs races to finish". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-03-01.