Manfeild Park will host the next three editions of the New Zealand Grand Prix, Motorsport New Zealand has announced tonight.
Eight circuits were invited to submit proposals lst year and, after reviewing various presentations, Motorsport New Zealand's Executive concluded that Manfeild was the best option.
"There was strong interest in hosting the event," MSNZ president Shayne Harris said. "However, the executive felt that Manfeild's successful record of holding the event and its clear understanding of the costs and commercial requirements set it apart. It's proposal also demonstrated significant community and regional support.''
Mr Harris said that the fact the National Customer Centre of Toyota New Zealand, who's Toyota Racing Series contests the NZGP, is located in Manawatu played only a small part in the final decision.
"Toyota NZ told us they would be happy to contest the Grand Prix on any suitable circuit; however, they felt retaining the event at Manfeild Park was good for the region.''
The executive certainly took this into account, along with the unprecedented commitment Toyota NZ has made to motorsport in New Zealand, but, at the end of the day, the heritage and sustainability of the Grand Prix was our foremost consideration and it was agreed that Manfeild offered the best all-round package."
Manfeild Park Trust chairman Ben Vanderkolk said the bid process, which began last year, had stimulated fresh local thought about lifting the event's stature.
The Manfeild board has also asked to meet with MNZ at a governance level to discuss the event's future as soon as convenient.
''One of the matters we would like to consider and agree upon is the term of the grant of the Grand Prix to Manfeild.
It has to be said that the term should reflect the extent to which all parties commit to invest in the event.''
Manfeild want to raise the status of the country's premier motor-racing event.
''We are equally proud, now, that in achieving a further, three-year host period, we have proven to MotorSport NZ that we have performed, that we are dedicated and that we can be trusted.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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