One of three circuits that I have actually lapped myself, Brands Hatch and Goodwood being the others, Pukekohe has been around since 1963. This home track for most Aucklanders has seen big names in the past, as part of the European Winter ‘Tasman’ series, including Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart as well as local aces such as Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme.
Shortened from 3.5 km to 2.8 km the circuit is fast – the fastest in the southern hemisphere – with the current lap record standing at under 55 seconds, courtesy of series such as the Toyota Racing Series, V8 Supercars and F5000. From 2008 though, the V8 series moves to a street circuit in Hamilton. This is primarily due to a lack of investment in the circuit and facilities by the owners, who see it more as a horse racing venue. Not that much of that happens either.
By Phil Clark