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Changes considered for Pukekohe circuit

 

With consideration to Motorcycling New Zealand's withdrawal of permits to race at Pukekohe, comes a proposal for a minor track change to reduce front-straight entry speed and open a new passing opportunity.

With consideration to Motorcycling New Zealand's withdrawal of permits to race at Pukekohe, comes a proposal for a minor track change to reduce front-straight entry speed and open a new passing opportunity.

MNZ's withdrawal comes amidst concerns over safety fencing, which has prompted the MotorSport New Zealand's Circuit Safety Department to offer a track change that has been fielding favourable comment.

Not only does it address the Motorcycling New Zealand concern, but it deals to an increasing concern regarding speeds over 'the hill' - all the while creating a new and unique spectator point.

The simplest option currently circulating involves creating a type of 'kink' at the long sweeping right hand corner that leads to the front straight. It will extend the run to the right turn before sweeping back to join the front straight. That leaves a straight line to the corner entry - and the potential for overtaking to exit the new left-hand turn on to the front straight.

Estimations have entry speed on to the front straight reduced by 50km/h. Current speed data has a GT3 Porsche coming through the turn on to the front straight at over 200km/h - having not 'lifted-off' or slowed down after exiting the hairpin.

Earthworks to create the single corner alteration are estimated at taking a week to complete - with other options being considered involving tightening corners from the hairpin to the current up-hill front straight right-hander.

With the V8 Supercar event having been the stage for the latest series of serious accidents, circuit safety concern has become a necessary evil for promoters who need to uphold event contracts and stay away from the potential of criminal liability. But as with any changes - it comes at a cost.

Lance Hastie


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