Celebrating New Zealand in Supercars: The circuits

14 Apr
A third different New Zealand circuit will host a championship Supercars round on April 19-21

Taupō International Motorsport Park will become the 35th different circuit to host a championship round, and just the third in New Zealand.

There have been 56 races held on New Zealand soil, with Auckland's iconic Pukekohe Park Raceway and the Hamilton Street Circuit preceding the new Taupō event.

Of the 56 races, 20 were by homegrown stars Greg Murphy, Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin, with Murphy winning a staggering nine races at Pukekohe alone.

On April 19-21, five Kiwi drivers will be tasked with bringing more success to New Zealand, this time at a new battleground.

Ahead of Supercars' long-awaited return to New Zealand in Taupō, Supercars.com looks at the circuits that previously hosted V8 action.


Race-23-Action--EV-11-19-MH1 7877

Located just outside of Auckland, Pukekohe Park Raceway was opened in 1963 as a permanent track, and hosted the annual New Zealand Grand Prix, which attracted global stars such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart.

The circuit hosted V8-powered cars in 1996 with the New Zealand Mobil Sprints, with Greg Murphy the star of the show with three wins from three starts.

In 2001, Pukekohe became the first circuit outside Australia to host a championship round, and Murphy won all three races, much to the home fans' delight.

Pukekohe held a round each year between 2001 and 2007, before the New Zealand event headed to Hamilton. V8 Supercars would return to the circuit in 2013, following a series of upgrades to the circuit.

Supercars returned each year between 2013 and 2019, before COVID-19 ensured Kiwi fans had to wait until 2022 for one last hurrah, given the circuit's closure in 2023.

The 2013 event was the first held for drivers competing for the Jason Richards Trophy, named after the popular racer who died in 2011 following battle with illness. The Jason Richards Trophy will be awarded at Taupō rounds from 2024.

Pukekohe stats

Races: 45 (2001-2007, 2013-2019, 2022)

Winners: Greg Murphy (9), Shane van Gisbergen (7), Jamie Whincup (6), Mark Skaife (4), Jason Bright (4), Scott McLaughlin (3), Mark Winterbottom (3), Garth Tander (3), Will Davison (2), Marcos Ambrose (1), David Reynolds (1), Rick Kelly (1), Todd Kelly (1)

Poles: Jamie Whincup (7), Shane van Gisbergen (5), Scott McLaughlin (4), Mark Skaife (2), Jason Bright (2), Fabian Coulthard (1), Garth Tander (1), Todd Kelly (1), Greg Murphy (1), James Courtney (1), Craig Lowndes (1), Mark Winterbottom (1), David Reynolds (1), Will Davison (1), Cam Waters (1)



Between 2008 and 2012, the streets of Hamilton in the Waikato region of the North Island were the home of Supercars in New Zealand.

The Hamilton Street Circuit was 3.310km-long, clockwise track that ran around the Frankton business district. It also went alongside the Seddon Park and the Waikato Stadium, and was highlighted by narrow sections with plenty of Armco and concrete walls.

The hero corner was the chicane on the back straight, which caught the best of Supercars off guard over the years.

Garth Tander won all three races at the inaugural event, before Jamie Whincup swept the 2009 and 2010 rounds. In 2011, Rick Kelly broke through for Kelly Racing, before a young Shane van Gisbergen won his first career Supercars race for Stone Brothers Racing.

The final round was an all-Ford affair, with Ford Performance Racing duo Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom claiming honours in a dramatic final round.

Drivers raced for the Mark Porter Trophy, named after the Kiwi development series racer who lost his life in a 2006 accident at Mount Panorama.

Hamilton stats

Races: 11 (2008-2012)

Winners: Jamie Whincup (4), Garth Tander (3), Will Davison (1), Mark Winterbottom (1), Shane van Gisbergen (1), Rick Kelly (1)

Poles: Jamie Whincup (2), Garth Tander (2), Mark Winterbottom (1), Steven Richards (1), Steven Johnson (1), Rick Kelly (1), Will Davison (1)

What about Wellington?


V8 machinery did race elsewhere in New Zealand, albeit in a non-championship capacity, in the nation's capital.

Between 1985 and 1996, Wellington hosted some of the biggest stars of world touring car racing, with Group A touring car teams from Australia and Europe drawn to New Zealand each summer.

The circuit, which ran through central Wellington streets and along the edge of the waterfront, helped kick off the first World Touring Car Championship in 1987.

The enduro format saw Brock and Allan Moffat win together in 1986 and 1987, before European drivers dominated from there.

The final hit-out for Wellington came in 1996, following the death of the international rules at the end of 1992. Run in November, the 1996 Mobil NZ Series brought 12 Supercars to Pukekohe and a revived version of the Wellington street circuit.

John Bowe, the 1995 ATCC champion, took pole and won the opening two heats and the round. However, to the delight of another vocal home crowd, Murphy won Race 3 and narrowly beat Bowe to the series win.

The inaugural Taupō event will be held on April 19-21. Fans are encouraged to secure their ticket options, with Saturday and Sunday general admission and grandstand allocations exhausted.

Related News