Up to 20,000 people are expected in Cromwell as the Highlands Motorsport Park hosts its first major motor racing event in early November.
Organisers say more than $50 million of high-performance race cars, many of which have not been seen in New Zealand, will compete at the $30m facility between November 8 and 10.
It will be the first time the Australian GT Series is seen in New Zealand, and the lineup of cars includes Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Chevrolet Corvettes and more.
The South Island Endurance Series will have international racers Shane van Gisbergen and Daniel Gaunt as entrants. Also on the programme is the long-awaited debuted of the one-make Toyota 86 series.
On day three, the Highlands 101 will be held, an event said to be the New Zealand equivalent of Bathurst, with the fastest cars and drivers from all three classes competing over 101 laps of the 4km Highlands circuit.
Owner Tony Quinn said the event will be one of three annual race meetings at the motorsport park, which is the biggest project in the region since the Clyde dam was built. It now employs 26 staff.
The crew on site were working to get the pit complex ready for November but were already talking about track extensions - despite already being the longest circuit in New Zealand at 4.6km.
An automotive-themed sculpture park was also being planned.
- © Fairfax NZ News