Spectators heading to the Highlands 101 GT endurance race at Highlands Motorsport Park in November are being promised a full-on weekend of family-friendly entertainment, including a special helicopter display and flyboard demonstrations on the Highlands lake.
The 13 to 15 November event is the third annual Highlands 101 endurance race and the Highlands team will ensure this year’s big race weekend offers plenty of entertainment on and off the track for fans to enjoy.
Highlands’ event marketing manager Melanie Kees commented: “Not only do you get to enjoy seeing exotic models like Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari and Audi take on muscle car GT3 models like the Camaro GT3 in the Australian GT Championship final and the 101-lap feature race, you’ll see a wide array of other European race cars in action in the 1+01 one hour and Euromarque races.”
She added: “Feedback we’ve had from competitors to date indicates the growing prestige of competing in and winning the 1+01 enduro, so we’re sure to see some fantastic racing among the support classes as well as the feature races.”
New for this year’s Highlands 101 is a special helicopter display, featuring a former British Army Air Corps helicopter, a 1960s-built Westland Scout courtesy of the team from Warbirds over Wanaka who will be talking about their next international air show taking place 25-28 March 2016.
“We also welcome leading local helicopter operation, Alpine Helicopters will have their very special Hiller 12E (registration ZK-HBL) on show,” says Ms Kees. “This machine is one that Sir Tim Wallis used for venison recovery back in the late 1960s. Having been on display at Warbirds and Wheels for the last 20 years, the Hiller 12E has been through a 12-month restoration and recently took to the sky again. We’re honoured to have a machine on show that’s played such a big role in local history.”
Highlands Motorsport Park’s official helicopter partner, Over the Top Helicopter Company, is also joining in the fun display, showcasing their signature luxury helicopter, a B4 Eurocopter, which is specifically designed for tourism ventures.
Cromwell-based Aurum Helicopters joins the special display at Highlands, showcasing their Hughes 269C, one of the hard-working machines that Ben Sarginson and his team use for agricultural spraying and spreading throughout Otago and surrounding areas.
“We’re sure the special demonstration by Beau Weston of Flyboard Queenstown will also attract a lot of attention,” Ms Kees says.
Weston will showcase the thrilling, water-and-aerial jet-powered flight antics made possible with a flyboard and a jetpack, both propulsion systems which are driven by a jetski turbine.
“The Highlands Lake will be a perfect location for us to demonstrate this new and exciting sport,” says Weston who will perform single and double backflips, tornado spins, dolphin dives and a trick he calls the fakie Superman while strapped onto the waterjet devices powered by a nearby jetski.
“Displaying the jetpack and flyboard to the Highlands 101 crowd will be the biggest show we have done to date and our team at Flyboard Queenstown is very excited to have the opportunity,” Weston says.
As well as free children’s entertainment, the Highlands team has the Highlands bus running all day to ferry spectators and their children from the viewing areas near the Highlands museum, around to the pit lane and control tower where everyone can enjoy the free grid walks before the main feature races, and on around the rest of the circuit where visitors can hop off to enjoy some time exploring and playing in the Jurassic safari park and adventure playground in the Highlands forest.
“We’ll confirm even more off-track entertainment soon,” says Ms Kees. “Fans can look forward to more Highlands’ style family-friendly amusements and fun to help make a real weekend of it!”