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WITH MORE AND MORE TALK OF THE HAMPTON DOWNS GT MEMBERSHIP, WE DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO HEAD TO THE TRACK TO FIND OUT WHAT IT’ S ALL ABOUT
Just over a year ago, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park launched its GT Membership model, designed to sit alongside other exclusive memberships at the likes of your very best golf and yacht clubs. While such memberships are very common in the northern hemisphere, they have not been tried in this part of the world, Australia included. Where the motor sport membership model has been successful overseas, the facility has been purpose built to a very high standard, as has been the case with Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Parks, which are both owned by Tony Quinn, and where the GT Membership has flourished. In fact, the Hampton Downs GT members, now numbering over 135, are raving about it, so we decided it was time to catch up with the team from Hampton Downs to find out more about how it works and why it is growing in popularity.
Clearly, the biggest reason is the generous amount of track time included in the deal — GT members get 80 sessions per year — which averages out to around one day a week. And it doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional — think of it as like being a member of a golf club: it doesn’t matter how good you are at golf, you still get the same benefits. However, there are some significant differences that put the GT Membership in a league above those of most golf courses and yacht clubs, and, quite possibly, above them all.
We say that because, once you take a GT Membership, you own it. Yes, that’s right, you own the membership, and, after three years, you can sell it to the highest bidder if you want. Given that membership will be closed when it reaches capacity, a positive capital gain from the sale is not out of the question! A small transfer fee is payable when the sale is made, and the only other condition is that Hampton Downs must vet the new member for suitability, although you can also pass your membership on through the family.
Then there is the brand-new members lounge, with the best view of the race tracks from a large balcony and several smaller ones, which belongs exclusively to members on track days. There are no cash registers in sight — in fact, you can help yourself to the fridges, which are packed full of your favourite beverages, and a light lunch and snacks are complimentary.
Driver training is available to members at competitive rates and sometimes you’ll get some free pointers from some of the existing members, whose names you may recognize — Shane van Gisbergen, Greg Murphy, and ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett! There are also three separate track configurations and, outside of major events — which members have exclusive access to also — members are the only drivers to get to run on the new four-kilometre International Circuit.
With Tony Quinn owning both