Hamp­ton Downs 101

Words: Lach­lan Jones

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Pho­tos:

TA­dam Croy

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

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