New format for Auckland V8 Supercars race

Last updated 11:54 26/03/2013
Fairfax NZ

V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup takes Len Brown for a few donuts, in central Auckland.

Len Brown
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ
STREET RACER: Len Brown kept a watch on his blood pressure as he zipped through the streets of Auckland in a V8 Supercar this morning.

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Len Brown kept a watch on his blood pressure as he zipped through the streets of Auckland in a V8 Supercar this morning.

Four-time race champion Jamie Whincup took the mayor for a spin downtown ahead of the ITM 400 event on April 12 to 14.

Brown famously suffered a heart attack while giving a speech in 2008 and underwent bypass surgery shortly afterwards.

But he was excited about riding passenger from the Mayoral Chambers today, down Queen and Custom Sts and up to the Viaduct this morning.

A new race format has been confirmed for this weekend at the revamped Pukekohe Park Raceway.

There will be two 100km races on Saturday and Sunday, each with their own 15 minute qualifying session.

It means no mid-race fuel stops. “There’s 400kms of racing,”  ITM 400 Auckland ambassador Greg Murphy said.

“There’s not much time between each of the 100km races to make any changes, and real pressure on qualifying because one mistake will make a big difference.

“Expect some desperate manoeuvres as the pressure to get to the front gets a bit much for some.”

The format changes are the most significant in the history of the sport, V8 Supercars events and motorsport chief operations officer Shane Howard said.

“They’re purely designed for the teams and drivers to race hard and fight for every position.”

Meanwhile, work has advanced on the $6.6m raceway upgrade including new viewing grandstands to return it to its international status.

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