A return to New Zealand is looking favourable for Supercars following comments made by series CEO Shane Howard to Australian publishers Speedcafe today.
The Tony Quinn-owned circuit has joined Hampton Downs as a front-runner as the venue to host the series following the closure of Pukekohe and the subsequent absence of a New Zealand round on the calendar since.
A team from Supercars are set to visit the Central North Island circuit in the coming week, while Howard also expressed confidence the event would receive government support.
“It’s been quite lengthy,” Howard told Speedcafe. “As I’ve said previously, with no circuit actually in the Auckland area, we’ve presented the opportunity to Major Events New Zealand, and they’re in full process of our evaluating submission.
“Obviously, there are two circuits that really could work – Hampton Downs and Taupo. We’ll be sending some people over to have a look at Taupo.
“I’d be hoping we could get a position [on either] at the end of May because if it goes longer than that, it starts to get difficult to really get a  calendar into good shape.
“A lot of governments think favourably of supporting events in regional areas,” he said. “And ‘Toe-paw’ has been mentioned as an opportunity, so we’ll have a look at it.”
Taupo International Motorsport Park qualifies to host Supercars through its FIA Grade 3 rating. The venue has also hosted several other world-class events in recent years, including the A1GP, and is a staple on the Toyota Formula Regional Oceania (formerly Toyota Racing Series) calendar.
The 2024 Supercars calendar is expected to be released later this year ahead of the Bathurst 1000 in October.