7 Dec
7 December 2017

Julie's Column Dec 7

AS the year draws to a close, our thoughts here at Manfeild are turning toward the New Zealand Grand Prix, a title every driver wants.

Planning for the February 11-12 event is again guided by the memory of true legend Chris Amon – the 2018 race represents the 50th anniversary of the first of our Bulls’-born friend’s two NZGP title wins while a Ferrari works driver.

Chris was always a firm supporter of keeping the NZGP at Manfeild. His view was that maintaining the event at a single venue enhanced the race’s heritage and he believed Manfeild was the best choice, being so geographically well located and quite demonstrably best suited to racers, spectators and for Palmerston North-based Toyota New Zealand, which created and fosters Toyota Racing Series.

We of course now honour his memory with the main circuit being named Manfeild: Circuit Chris Amon, an impetus that further enhances our intention to ensure this finale to the Toyota Racing Series will be one that gives all attendees special memories.

The Toyota Racing Series is a proven international career springboard. It draws global attention through its high international participation; since 2012 the field has never contained fewer than 15 overseas drivers.

Also confirmed for the 2018 meeting are BNT V8s, Porter Group V8 Utes and TradeZone GTRNZ, another high-performance category featuring equally fiery futuristic fare split into GT1/GT2 and GT3/GT4 sub-categories.

The meeting will also have the Toyota 86 Championship, Pirelli Porsche Series and NZ F1600, NZ Formula First and Mazda Pro 7.

By now all Manawatu District and Palmerston North ratepayers will have received opportunity to achieve free tickets to the NZGP. This is proving to be a hugely successful promotion so don’t delay on redeeming an opportunity provided by series promoter Speedworks Events and the Palmerston North and Manawatu District councils.

About 45,000 three-day passes have been offered at a potential value of $3.15 million.

December 17 also brings some significant sizzling racing action to our venue, but on two wheels, with round two of the Suzuki Series.

This meeting is a points-scoring round for the country’s richest motorcycle series and also a shakedown to the competition’s most famous event, the Cemetery Circuit event in Whanganui on Boxing Day.

The series has attracted not only our top national riders but also competitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Ireland.

Isle of Man TT frontrunners Conor Cummins (Isle of Man), Lee Johnston (Ireland) and five-time world sidecar champion Tim Reeves (UK) headline the international contingent. 

The Suzuki Series in F2 and F3, F1 Superbikes, sidecars and, of course, the new GIXXER Cup - a Suzuki NZ initiative to encourage 14 to 21 years old into the sport at an acceptable cost – are among attractions, along with F3, Post Classic, Supermoto and Formula Sport/BEARS. 

Don’t forget to call me on 027 6599 666 if you have any thoughts about Manfeild. Also, to keep up with the latest news, check out the Manfeild website, www.manfeild.co.nz, and our Facebook page.