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Old 27 May 2015, 00:21 (Ref:3541610)   #31
samzbob
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You would probably have to change the run offs at the current turns 2-3 as they are designed for clockwise running. Also Turn 4 exit is an odd shape and would have a weird entry too. Plug the undulation of the hairpin might need looking at?

Dont see the problem with the current layout, Turn 1 is still quick ish with a fast turn in and requries commitment, as with the last corner with its lake braking and hold on as the car finds some sort of grip to lean on.

I dont think making it anti clockwise would make it any more fun.
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 20:21 (Ref:3548155)   #32
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Looks from the media reports that Hampton Downs has now been sold. Will it still be available to use as before? What will change?
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Old 1 Jul 2015, 22:14 (Ref:3555284)   #33
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Quinn excited by Hampton Downs potential - 5/06/2015


Tony Quinn gives us the low-down on his vision for Hampton Downs

Quinn excited by Hampton Downs’ potential to complement Highlands

Tony Quinn, the owner of Highlands Motorsport Park, is excited about seeing the full potential of his recently-acquired Hampton Downs facility realised over the next 16 months, and how it will complement his existing motorsport venue in Central Otago.

Quinn confirms that the purchase of the north Waikato race track and its surrounding 150 hectares was completed on 2 June as scheduled and is already progressing plans to undertake a number of projects which will see the facility completed as per its original plans and re-launched with a major international event in November 2016.



The image shows Hampton Downs’ co-founder Tony Roberts (left) with new owner Tony Quinn.

“I’ve been sharing some of my plans with Hampton’s managing director Tony Roberts, operations manager Gary Stirling, and business and marketing manager Claire Gullidge, who are all staying in their existing roles for at least six months,” Quinn says. “What I’ve asked them to do over the next week or so is write down all the things we should be doing that will make a practical benefit to the park, its operation, and look and feel, so we can get all these things going.”

Quinn then intends to have tender documents produced fairly quickly for the bigger projects, such as the construction of corporate suites and a control tower above the pit-lane garages, a go-kart track, a second skid pan and a track extension which will add a kilometre to the existing 2.8km layout, so quotes can be obtained and contracts issued over the winter for work to start in spring.

“There are four or five different projects which can all be tackled by different contractors at the same time without affecting the day-to-day track operation. There’ll be a flurry of activity when spring sets in and I expect a fair bit of finished work by Christmas and into early New Year.

“There are a couple of important things I want people to be clear on. Firstly, I don’t want people to confuse Hampton Downs with Highlands. Highlands is a totally separate business model to Hampton’s – Highlands is a tourist venue that caters to tourists year round with a small number of high profile motorsport events each year. Hampton Downs is an absolute flat-out race track. It’s used 330 days of the year for racing, corporate days, testing and the like. That will continue.

“Secondly, the track is absolutely open for business now and will continue to be; nothing’s going to change. Anyone that’s got a booking now, that’s fine. All the projects we’re doing are outside the normal day-to-day operation of the track, but people will start to see the new facilities being completed and used as we head into next year and the GT extravaganza we have planned as the park’s re-launch in November 2016.”

Quinn stresses his desire to complete Hampton Downs the way it was originally intended to create a world-class motorsport park that complements Highlands.

“I was excited, like everyone else, when Hampton Downs was first talked about and Chris Watson and Tony Roberts embarked on this ambitious plan to build a fantastic facility on the outskirts of Auckland, in the rolling hills of North Waikato. It seemed like an idyllic project within easy reach of Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton. I want to finish it properly and it’s going to be an exciting project.”

“In about 16 months’ time it’s going to be a truly fantastic facility to visit and there’s no doubt that Hampton Downs and Highlands are going to be the two best tracks in New Zealand. If we have any international categories here, it would be sensible to expose them to fans at both Hampton and Highlands.

“Already we’ve told our Highlands’ members that they are most welcome to use Hampton Downs as one of their membership privileges, and we will also introduce memberships at Hampton Downs that will give members certain privileges including access to a pretty fancy members’ lounge where members and their partners can mix and mingle and enjoy the premier status of being a member.

“There’s another thing to remember – Claire has a great saying that Hampton Downs is a friendly track. Everyone’s got different things that they want to do at the circuit, and the role of Hampton’s staff and the facility itself is be friendly and accommodate what people want to do.

“We just ran a competition in Australia amongst our 900 staff asking them to give us some ideas what we should do with some of the facilities – it was amazing, we got about 40 fantastic ideas that we’re now working on. We want to listen to people’s suggestions for Hampton Downs, so what we’re saying to people and to staff tell us what you think would be a good idea, what would work, if it’s practical and doable, we’ll do it.”

More news about the developments at Hampton Downs will be shared on the park’s website www.hamptondowns.com and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hamptondowns in coming months.
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Old 2 Jul 2015, 06:18 (Ref:3555333)   #34
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Go-Kart track!
As in Hire-karts, or a proper Kartsport approved circut?
I was quite disapointed when the Highlands circut was Hire karts only.
Hampton could easily get the visting competitors from Hamilton and Avondale.
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Old 5 Jul 2015, 11:36 (Ref:3555898)   #35
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I think the original plan was to attract as many facets of the motorsport fraternity as possible, so yes competitive kart racing was always on the cards. I can't imagine Tony Q wanting to change that.
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Old 6 Jul 2015, 10:44 (Ref:3556150)   #36
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Originally Posted by BackSeat Driver View Post
Go-Kart track!
As in Hire-karts, or a proper Kartsport approved circut?
I was quite disapointed when the Highlands circut was Hire karts only.
Hampton could easily get the visting competitors from Hamilton and Avondale.
Hamilton already has a great circuit out by the airport and whilst the two current Auckland circuits are not as new or sophisticated as Hamilton, there is a brand-new circuit being built at Manukau that will be up to international standard. http://www.kartsport.org.nz/about-us...on-new-complex

On that basis, I think a tourist/recreational facility would be more appropriate at HD. BTW: Shifter karts (125 & 250cc) already race on the current HD circuit (lapping within a few seconds of a V8ST) and they would probably enjoy the 1.2km club circuit that will come with the HD extension.
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Old 6 Jul 2015, 20:23 (Ref:3556288)   #37
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They are amazingly quick those karts aren't they?

I have promised my son that if he does well in his NCEA this year we will build up a go-kart for him...
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Old 16 Jul 2015, 21:42 (Ref:3559067)   #38
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socram should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsocram should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I wish I was ten years younger...

Delighted that our support for HD (and Chris and Tony) well before day 1 has been vindicated and what was looking a bit dodgy at times, now has a great future.
Our solicitor merely said at apartment signing time, back in 2008, "Do you trust these guys and have confidence in them?"
"Yes" and "yes".

Do I have confidence in Tony Quinn's plans and ability to achieve his objectives? "Yes" and " Yes".

As for keeping the track clockwise, as it stands it offers an exhilarating drive (certainly the current National track), and I really don't think the same could be said if raced in the opposite direction.
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Old 17 Jul 2015, 00:43 (Ref:3559081)   #39
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From what I know Southern the track was changed to its current direction due to its proximity to SH1 and the approach speed to that corner.
Just to correct my own statement about the current track direction, I asked Tony Roberts the other day about the direction....Tony said it was never intented to go in the other direction. From memory he thought the speculation about the other direction came from the artists impression which showed cars travelling in the other direction for some reason.
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Old 17 Jul 2015, 08:17 (Ref:3559128)   #40
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We bought off the plans and the sketch. I remember Chris Watson saying that when they changed the direction, after we had signed up for a unit, he was dreading my response!

We also expected a swimming pool, gymnasium and tennis court, so hopefully, included in Tony's plans, the motel complex will be completed, making it a more attractive place to stay, particularly for wives and family who may not be so keen on the racing.

As it happens, I think that the view of cars leaping over the hill, through turn three and also dropping into the second hairpin, has given me and I suspect, many others, some of the best action photographs in their respective collections. If the track was reversed, great photo opportunities would have been lost along with much of the spectator appeal. Most views, if the track was reversed, would have been the backs of cars entering corners instead of the fronts of cars leaving them.

Last edited by socram; 17 Jul 2015 at 08:27.
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Old 20 Jul 2015, 04:26 (Ref:3559643)   #41
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As it happens, I think that the view of cars leaping over the hill, through turn three and also dropping into the second hairpin, has given me and I suspect, many others, some of the best action photographs in their respective collections. If the track was reversed, great photo opportunities would have been lost along with much of the spectator appeal. Most views, if the track was reversed, would have been the backs of cars entering corners instead of the fronts of cars leaving them.
Couldn't agree more Socram. I am not a photographer at all, but the visual aspect of those corner combo's you mention is spot on. For me, its the dive in to T1, and the exit of T3 where you really get an idea of a cars true grip. I also like the visual of cars accelerating towards the sweeper. Super fast cars look out of this world as they disappear towards SH1. Stand on the edge of pitlane looking down towards T5 (hairpin with elevation drop) and watching the cars drop under brakes, and then take a high line in is testament to a well set up machine.

It's funny isn't it. HD at this point is just 6 or 7 corners (however you look at it), but each one is so special and flows on to the next one in a common sense way that this short and snappy 'lil track is just awesome. I can only hope that the extension carries on with the same 'feel' of HD
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Old 3 Aug 2015, 20:28 (Ref:3563587)   #42
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socram should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsocram should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I might be a lone voice here, but my expectation is that the current National Track will still be a better driver's track for those of us with slower cars and possibly even a better photographer's track, than the extended circuit.
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Old 3 Aug 2015, 21:33 (Ref:3563600)   #43
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That may well be the case Ray, it's probably really only going to get used for whatever big international events come their way. Club racing and historic and the like would not really benefit from the extra length as most of it will be away from the crowds.
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Old 3 Aug 2015, 22:24 (Ref:3563617)   #44
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I might be a lone voice here, but my expectation is that the current National Track will still be a better driver's track for those of us with slower cars and possibly even a better photographer's track, than the extended circuit.
Agreed, and the long track gets rid of my favourite corner, the only that transitions into another - turn 2 and 3.

But, the same can be said for Taupo, where track 2 is arguably peoples favourite and my favourite section on that is the sweeper into the chicane and then left hander onto the back straight. Everything but the sweeper is gone with the longer track 1 or 4 setup.

The biggest benefit at Hampton Downs is not only the longer International grade track, but also the ability to run a second small track when the national circuit is run. It looks like quite a fun little club circuit.
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Old 4 Aug 2015, 01:12 (Ref:3563642)   #45
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All of this brings to mind ---- was the shortening and deletion of the original Pukekohe circuit a mistake?
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