|Time zone||UTC +12|
New Zealand V8's
Toyota Racing Series
NZ Drift Series
New Zealand Grand Prix
|Grand Prix Circuit|
|Length||4.511 km (2.803 mi)|
|Length||3.033 km (1.885 mi)|
|Lap record||1:01.457 (Simon Wills, Simon Wills Motorsport Reynard 94D, 26 November 2000, Formula Holden)|
The Manfeild Autocourse is a motor sport circuit located 14 kilometres from Palmerston North in New Zealand. It was built by the Manawatu Car Club in 1973 as a purpose built course. In 1990 extra land was acquired and the circuit extension built, bringing Manfeild up to international standards. Manfeild Autocourse does not only play host to motorsport events, it also caters for activities such as Central Districts Field Days, Fireworks Spectacular, NZ Secondary School Cycling, Corporate Days, Car and Motorcycle Launches and Driver Training.
History of the Manfeild circuit
The original 3.033 kilometres (1.88 mi) Manfeild Autocourse was built by the Manawatu Car Club Incorporated with the first event being held in 1973. A purpose designed venue with an uninterrupted view of the action, the circuit has workshop garages, hospitality suites and toilet blocks and sealed access roads throughout the pit paddock area.
The name "Manfeild" is derived from "Manawatu" being the region the circuit is in and "Feilding" the town it is in. Feilding is spelt with the e before the i as it is named after Colonel William Feilding.
In 1990 the Car Club began looking at wider issues of governance and development. Extra land acquired extended the track to full International standards, and also accommodates Agricultural/Pastoral Shows.
In October 2004 three land owners, Manawatu District Council, Feilding IA&P and the Manawatu Car Club deeded their land and formed the Manfeild Park Trust. The Trust has five appointed Trustees: Gordon Smith, Rod Titcombe, John Baxter, Debbie Hart, and Shelley Dew-Hopkins.
Manfeild Park now encompasses the Autocourse and the developing land that was the Feilding Race Course.
The users of Manfeild Park extends from Weddings, Conferences, Horse Shows, Secondary School Cycling, Roller Skaters, Shearing Championships, Fundraising events to Driving Schools, Fireworks Spectaculars, Scout Jamborees and of course National/International and World Motorsport.
Manfeild has held the New Zealand Grand Prix on six occasions (1992-1995, 2008–present).
The overall 3.033km Lap Record has been updated to reflect the correct record for the Clockwise direction. While Earl Bamber does hold the TRS record on Manfeild it is not the overall record. Simon Wills took the record off Graeme Lawrence who set a 1.02.1 record in either 1975 or 1976 in a F5000 Lola T332 (Car#14 painting in Marlboro Colours). There is record of faster times around Manfeild, but not during a race. Kenny Smith is reputed to have completed a 0.58 lap in a F5000 set in the early seventies, but it was only a demo lap. Johnny Reid has also completed a sub minute lap in an A1GP car, but again only as a demo and promotion for the series running in New Zealand at the time.
While Manfeild now only runs clockwise there is also an anti-clockwise record held by Greg Murphy at 1.00.81 in a Formula Holden Reynard 92D set in 1995.
The current overall Saloon Car record is now held by Cameron Jones in a Camaro RX666 at 1.04.614 set on the 2nd of June 2013
The overall Motorbike record is held by Andrew Stroud on a Production Superbike at 1.05.343 on the 24th February 2008
Manfeild Autocourse is 4.5 km with long three long straights and offers many passing opportunities. A quick lap around the circuit involves smooth entries and exits, maintaining good corner speed and maximising terminal speeds on the straights.
While the overall circuit is 4.5km long the main 3km circuit is the only section used for competition car racing including the NZ Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is not held over the full 4.5km circuit as the back 1.5km circuit is not licensed by the FIA. The direction shown on the map is incorrect for car racing as the license is for Clockwise direction only. However Motorcycle racing can be held in the anticlockwise direction if approved by the Steward on the day. Motorcycles can also use the full 4.5km circuit, but it is not advised unless a protective airfence is bought in for the 3km back straight wall. The back 1.5km circuit can be used for Basic Clubsport car events such as single car sprints. The back 1.5km circuit is used more for driver training than it is for competition racing.
In 2007 the facilities at Manfeild Park were increased with the construction of a 7,500 square metre stadium with an all-purpose indoor surface suitable for all kinds of events, including equestion and canine shows. At the time of building it was the largest single-span building in the lower North Island.