NZV8: Jason Richards backs Hamilton race

Kiwi V8 ace Richards impressed by Hamilton street race proposal Kiwi V8 Supercar ace Jason Richards says the proposed street race announced today for Hamilton in New Zealand is major news. The eight year deal announced today by...

Kiwi V8 ace Richards impressed by Hamilton street race proposal

Kiwi V8 Supercar ace Jason Richards says the proposed street race announced today for Hamilton in New Zealand is major news.

The eight year deal announced today by Hamilton Mayor Michael Redman, which sees Hamilton securing the rights to hold the Kiwi V8 round from 2008 until 2015, gives the V8 series a solid platform in New Zealand.

"It's a great announcement because Hamilton is a place that's really been moving ahead and developing over the last 10 years or so," said Richards, who these days is based in Melbourne, Australia.

"I raced go karts as a kid at Hamilton, which had arguably the best karting track in the country. When they do something, they certainly do it properly!

"To give you some idea, there are probably about 100,000 people there, so it's about the size of Ballarat in Victoria.

"I understand that there are still issues surrounding resource consent, which has knocked previous street races on the head, but the event has unanimous council approval and that's a great start."

The proposed four-kilometre track, to be constructed around the streets of the suburb of Frankton, will run past rugby's Waikato Stadium and cricket's Westpac Stadium.

An engineer's roading report is pending on the circuit layout and the consent process will begin once that report is complete.

A deal has been signed between event promoters CSM Ltd and the Hamilton City Council, though the organisations will then have to approach V8 Supercars Australia in regards to the proposed street circuit being included on the 2008 calendar. Sources in New Zealand report that the consent process will be completed within four to six months.

In the meantime, Tasman Motorsport and the V8 Supercar Series will race at the Pukekohe circuit this year in April before returning to the fast 2.8- kilometre circuit for the final time in 2007.

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Series General
Drivers Jason Richards