New Zealand's biggest event in circuit motor racing for 2012 hits Pukekohe this weekend, when the V8 SuperTourers make their first appearance at the iconic track for the International 500.
Twenty cars and forty drivers will tackle the circuit in its old configuration in three enduro races totalling 500km, and with work set to start on the venue for the return of the V8 Supercars in 2013, it will almost certainly be the final appearance on the old layout.
Greg Murphy is back in the M3 for Holden, and will be partnered by Jack Perkins. The appearance of Chris van Der Drift alongside Tim Edgell brings the number of former Black Beauty A1GP team drivers racing to three - with Jonny Reid and Matt Halliday also in the field.
With a theme of 'race by day and party by night', Saturday evening will see The Feelers and the Jordan Luck Band take to the stage to headline a number of Kiwi acts. Helicopter hot laps following the racing will also be available to punters and, if the weather behaves, an airshow from the newly rebuilt WW2 Mosquito and a Strikemaster jet fighter is promised.
The SuperTourer format will include qualifying and a top-10 shoot out on Saturday, with one race on Saturday afternoon and two races, including the feature race, on Sunday.
Track action commences from 10am on Friday with support class testing, with the SuperTourers testing on track from 1.20pm. The parade of cars through Pukekohe will take place at 7.45pm and action on circuit on Saturday and Sunday begins at 9.35am and 10.10am respectively. The Saturday evening concert will start at 5.30pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News