JOIN THE CLUB

IF YOU LOVE TRACK TIME AS MUCH AS WE DO, THEN PER­HAPS A GT MEM­BER­SHIP IS FOR YOU?

NZ Performance Car - - Special Feature Hampton Downs Gt Membership -

ust over a year ago, Hamp­ton Downs Motorsport Park launched its GT Mem­ber­ship model — a mem­ber­ship de­signed to sit along­side other exclusive mem­ber­ships found at the likes of the 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, un­til now.

Where the motorsport mem­ber­ship model has been suc­cess­ful over­seas, the fa­cil­ity has been pur­pose built, and built to a very high stan­dard. That is also the case at the 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 are rav­ing about the club, so we de­cided it was time to catch up with the Hamp­ton Downs team to find out more about how the mem­ber­ship 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 more than one day a week — and it doesn’t mat­ter whether you are an am­a­teur or a pro­fes­sional. Think of it 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 GT Mem­ber­ship in a league above mem­ber­ship of most golf cour­ses and yacht clubs — quite pos­si­bly, above them all. We say that be­cause, once you be­come a GT mem­ber, you own your mem­ber­ship. 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. You can also pass the mem­ber­ship on through the fam­ily.

Then there is the brand-new mem­bers lounge at Hamp­ton Downs, with the best view of the tracks from a large bal­cony and sev­eral

Pit garages are open for free use dur­ing any of the 80 ses­sions

smaller ones. The lounge be­longs to the mem­bers ex­clu­sively on track days. There are no cash reg­is­ters in sight — you can help your­self to the fridges 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 mem­bers whose names you may rec­og­nize — such as Shane van Gis­ber­gen, Greg Mur­phy, and ‘Mad Mike’ Whid­dett! There are three sep­a­rate track con­fig­u­ra­tions and, out­side of ma­jor events, mem­bers have exclusive ac­cess to these. Mem­bers are also the only driv­ers to get a run on the new four-kilo­me­tre In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit.

With Tony Quinn own­ing both Hamp­ton Downs and High­lands motorsport parks, he’s en­sured that mem­bers of each get to en­joy both fa­cil­i­ties, adding five full days on the track at the other venue to mem­ber­ship of each. To help mem­bers take up this op­por­tu­nity, a deal has been done that gives them re­duced ve­hi­cle trans­port costs be­tween the two tracks — or, if you pre­fer, there’s al­ways the op­tion of a hire car, avail­able at each venue. Pit garages are open for free use dur­ing any of the 80 ses­sions.

The more we spoke to the team at Hamp­ton Downs, the more ap­peal­ing the mem­ber­ship sounded. Ac­cess to dis­counted ac­com­mo­da­tion in Queen­stown was the next thing they men­tioned, along with 15 guest passes per mem­ber­ship each year, al­low­ing you to take pas­sen­gers on the track. Of course, im­me­di­ate fam­ily, spouses, and chil­dren are wel­come to at­tend any mem­bers’ event/day at the track, and that in­cludes ac­cess to the mem­bers lounge.

When you con­sider all the above, the $10K join­ing fee and an­nual ‘green fee’ of $4500 (both ex­clud­ing GST) rep­re­sent ex­cel­lent value, par­tic­u­larly when you break it down to the track time in­cluded: it works out at less than $57 a ses­sion — try get­ting track time any­where else for that. The value has been well rec­og­nized al­ready, with more than 120 mem­bers hav­ing joined at Hamp­ton; that num­ber is pro­jected to dou­ble or even triple by the end of 2017.

So, if you’re keen on find­ing out more or sign­ing up, give Hamp­ton’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, Cherie Brown, a call on 027 536 7870, or email mar­ket­ing@hamp­ton­downs.com.

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