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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

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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

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