Hampton Downs 101
Words: Lachlan Jones
he inaugural Hampton Downs 101 event was held over the weekend of October 28–30. With an exciting build-up and lots on offer, the event was heralded a great success by Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn.
The event was an unofficial re-launch of the track following 18 months of hard work by the team at Hampton to create a world-class track and facilities. These changes have been made on the back of Quinn’s involvement, which has been and continues to be indisputably beneficial to the Kiwi motor sport community.
The highlight of the weekend was the penultimate race of the season in the Australian GT Championship series (also owned by Quinn). As a treat for attendees and viewers, Quinn had managed to coerce Kiwi racing great Greg Murphy out of retirement, as well as persuading drift specialist, ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett onto the straight and narrow.
David Russell and Rager Lago, in a Lamborghini R-EX, took out the 400-kilometre endurance race and the overall weekend win. Racing was bumper-to-bumper right up until the last corner, which saw the Ferrari of Peter Edwards and Graeme Smyth, which had been sitting comfortably in second place, spun by Nathan Morcom in the Mclaren.
Kiwi Dominic Storey and his co-driver, Peter Hackett, failed to stay stationary long enough while in the pits (regulations mean teams are given a minimum stop time in endurance races based on drivers’ combined experience). The pair, driving a Mercedes, were handed a drive-through penalty, which may well have cost them the race win and their chance to claw their way up to fourth on the season points leader board.
Other on-track action saw the Central Muscle Cars field in its full glory, with over 30 cars lined up for three days of spectacular classic-v8 racing. Shane Wigston, in the HQ Holden, shot to the top of the pile for race three and the Top Ten Shootout, with race four on Sunday being won by John Midgely, with Dean Perkins in second and Wigston rounding out the top three.
In conjunction with Hampton Downs 101, the similar