Agreements between Supercars and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development are close to being signed off to keep the New Zealand round of the series in New Zealand.
The deal will keep the Supercars event in New Zealand for three more years at Pukekohe Park Raceway for three more years, with ITM remaining as the sponsor.
Doubts over the future of the event were raised after last year’s event, where crowd numbers were down, while the facilities at the track remain in desperate need of upgrading.
However, at the launch of this year’s race, which is the last under the current agreement, ITM marketing manager Chris Boyle said the company was delighted to continue their association with the event.
“Being able to continue to support the ITM Auckland Supersprint for another three years was a fantastic opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Boyle said.
This year’s race will take place November 3-5 and will likely see the three New Zealand drivers battling for for honours.
Scott McLaughlin currently leads the Supercars championship midway through season, with Fabian Coulthard third and defending champion Shane van Gisbergen fourth.
“All the drivers enjoy coming to New Zealand for sure, but for us three Kiwi drivers, coming home and racing at Pukekohe is very special,” Coulthard said.
“Auckland is my home so to race in front of friends and family is fantastic. And the noise from the fans, particularly from the Hill on the front straight, is incredible. It is a feeling like no other.
“Right now with Shane (van Gisbergen) and my Shell-V Power Racing teammate Scott (McLaughlin), the Kiwi boys have had a great start to the year.
“The big PIRTEK Enduro Cup is fast approaching and after that we head to Pukekohe where I know, with the fantastic support from local fans, we can put on a really great show.”
The event has attracted around two million fans since 2001, while Supercars has become a popular motorsport category globally, now reaching 263 million homes in 92 countries.