Highlands set for a big 101 race
The Highlands racing course in Cromwell is ready to host a worldclass event on the weekend.
Motorsport giant Greg Murphy, drifter ’Mad Mike’ Whiddett and Highlands owner Tony Quinn will be taking to the track among the Australian GT racers.
Quinn said he was looking forward to the biggest event of the year, starting on Friday and running until Sunday.
The cars in the line up included Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan, Porsche, McLaren and Mercedes, which will race in the feature race on Sunday as the final round of the Australian Endurance Championship.
Drivers will also compete in the Radical Australia Cup, which will be raced for the first time in New Zealand, with an hour-long and one lap race on the weekend.
Quinn said Mad Mike would show his drifting to the audience during lunch time on Saturday and Sunday, after doing the same at the recent racing at Hampton Downs.
‘‘He was an absolute professional and he’s obviously a very talented guy. There’s no doubt if he put his mind to it he could further his career in circuit racing. He’s one cool character and he brought a real energy and enthusiasm to the pits.’’
Quinn would team up with Kiwi racer Greg Murphy in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3.
Highlanders 101 changed ’’dramatically’’ since Murphy participated three years ago, he said.
‘‘It’s a very impressive championship now and it’s really found a niche in Australasia. It’s not just in this part of the world either.’’
Last year’s star performer, Shane van Gisbergen, who competed in several different categories in Europe, the US and Australasia and had driven the world’s premier motor racing venues, rated the 4.1 km track at Highlands as one of his favourites.
‘‘It’s just a cool place. The track has got great views and the layout was inspired by some of the best corners from tracks all around the world,’’ van Gisbergen said.
Tickets are available from ticketmaster, on the Highlands website or at the gate, with under 16-year-olds getting in for free.
The ticket gives access to all areas.