26 Dec 2011

Motorsport park proposed for Whenuapai

6:12 am on 26 December 2011

Plans have been unveiled for a motorsport park and race circuit that could be built on the Whenuapai Air Force Base in Auckland.

Local promoters Pete Sinton and Frank Radisich hope to gain approval for the plan by the middle of next year, though they face several hurdles.

They have been working with Defence Force engineering contractors on a new design that would largely using existing tarmac but leave the main runway usable in emergencies on race days. There would also be a driver training facility.

Mr Sinton says there has been informal contact with new Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman but approvals and funding are still to be secured.

It is unclear whether the proposal will line up with work under way by the promoters of Australia's V8 Supercar series to possibly bring their event to a new location in Auckland from 2013.

Mr Sinton said that, in his opinion, Whenuapai is the only place in New Zealand where V8 Supercars can operate. "It has to be where the population base is," he said.

He said the facility could handle up to 200,000 spectators.