It is too early to call whether a Supercars New Zealand double-header at Pukekohe Park and Hampton Downs says CEO Sean Seamer.
As reported by speedcafe.com, rounds in Tasmania, New Zealand and Perth have all been postponed amid the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
Hampton Downs remains scheduled to host the ITM Super400 when it returns, however, the postponement has created an opportunity for the round to shift back to its original home in Pukekohe.
At this stage, it seems unlikely that the round will be shifted another time and go back to Pukekohe Park for this year’s event, but organisers such as the ATEED have not shied away from the possibility.
After all, given that Auckland ratepayers contribute over $1 million annually to the event, organisers may not be too fond of the race outside of Auckland’s boundaries.
Similarly, Hampton Downs resource capacity is currently limited at 20,000 per day and every year the event draws in close to 100,000 fans. With the impact of the economic aftershock due to the coronavirus set to hit Supercars, it may be a well-judged decision to chase as much money as possible.
But the event organisers and Supercars have acknowledged the efforts from Hampton Downs in ensuring a New Zealand round on ANZAC day still goes ahead. Ultimately this may mean that an event still proceeds from the Waikato venue despite Pukekohe being available.
When asked about the possibility of hosting back-to-back races from Pukekohe and Hampton Downs, Seamers said the sport needs to wait out NZ’s current travel restrictions before making any final decisions.
“The first thing I do want to say on the record is I do want to thank Tony (Quinn) and Josie (Spillane) at Hampton downs for everything that they and the team have done to be able to accommodate us on ANZAC weekend,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.
“They stepped up big time to make sure that that event would be feasible and it will not be overlooked in any of the planning going forward.
“The reality is, our priority is (figuring out) when can we get in and out of New Zealand and how does that look? Where do we go? Can we do back-to-backs?
“Jokingly, I’ve been quite clear with a lot of people, SVG (Shane van Gisergen) and I would quite happily run the championship in New Zealand if that’s what it took.
“The reality is there’s a tremendous amount of support for back-to-back rounds at Hampton Downs and Pukekohe, it’s just too early to call it.”
The three postponed rounds have yet to be rescheduled.
Seamer has acknowledged that the sport is pursuing a TV-only alternative that will see the championship resume as quickly as possible but again no details have been confirmed.
The Winter Super400 on June 5-7 remains scheduled as the next round of the championship.