An all-new motor racing-based charity event planned for later in the year, the Scott McLaughlin Grand Prix, is the Kiwi Supercars ace’s way of giving something back to where it all started for him – KartSport.
“It’s my way, if you like, of saying thanks,” the 25-year-old said from his adopted home across the Tasman this week. “Last year I felt honoured when I was asked if I would like to be made the Patron of the sport in NZ. I see my Grand Prix event in the same light. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been able to start racing karts in Hamilton back when I was a little tacker, so as far as I can see the more I can use the profile I now have to help the sport the better.”
Being put together by event management specialist Nick Rowland in association with McLaughlin and the sport’s governing body, KartSport New Zealand, the Grand Prix event will be based in Auckland and held on the Tuesday (Nov 06) after the New Zealand round of this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars championship, the ITM SuperSprint meeting at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Like similar events Rowland has organised for other high profile Kiwi sportspeople, the Pro-Am format will see guests from the corporate world team up with high-profile local sportsmen and women to complete a variety of challenges during the day then enjoy each other’ company at a gala black-tie charity dinner on the Tuesday evening.
The big difference between the ‘Grand Prix’ and other Pro-Am-style charity ones is that the Scott McLaughlin will be based round a series of driving challenges at Hampton Downs.
“That’s right,” says Rowland. “Obviously, if I am putting together an event for a rugby player you can’t really have your guests packing down a scrum; which is why in that case we might put together a golf tournament.
“With Scott’s event, everyone these days can drive, so it’s not too big a stretch to get them out to Hampton Downs and into a kart on the kart track there, and with a little bit of professional instruction, behind the wheel of some exotic cars provided by the Giltrap Group for various team-based challenges on the motor racing circuit.”
The event itself starts with a meet-and-greet ‘Pre-Qualifying’ cocktail function in Auckland on Monday November 05, then gets into gear proper on Tuesday Nov 6 ride down the Southern Motorway to Hampton Downs where participants will enjoy a ‘Rolling Start’ breakfast followed by the day’s driving activities before a ‘Victory Lap’ charity dinner at the Kauri Bay Boomrock, near Clevedon that evening.
Proceeds from the event will go to helping KartSport New Zealand fund and run its highly-rated Driver Development Academy.
The Academy has been designed to provide a set of programs and coaching clinics to assist all members from new entrants through club day racers to aspiring and existing elite international level competitors.
The Academy has a team of contracted KartSport New Zealand Accredited Coaches, all of whom have had to meet strict accreditation criteria including a solid background in coaching of karters and participation in KartSport New Zealand coaching workshops. Many of the Coaches also have a distinguished history of competition in the sport.
For more information about the Scott McLaughlin Grand Prix event contact Nick Rowland of Side by Side Bespoke Partnerships by tel or txt on 021 95 85 75 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org