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GREEN LIGHT FOR NEW AUCKLAND KART COMPLEX

 

Christmas has come early for the Auckland KartSport community with word from the Otara-Papatoetoe Board that they have been given the green light to begin work on the Colin Dale Park motorsport complex near the airport.Manukau2.jpg

 

"This is fantastic news and it could not have come at a better time," said Bob Cunningham, who with local man Ian Hodgson has been working on a plan to build an international standard kart track at the park for the past seven years."

 

Colin Dale Park, named after a long-serving Manukau City city manager, was ear-marked as a dedicated motorsport venue by what was the Manukau City Council and its mayor, Sir Barry Curtis, in 2003 when the land - on Price Rd (off Puhinui) and adjacent to Auckland International Airport - was purchased.

 

At the time Sir Barry said he hoped the park would one day become 'the pre-eminent motorsport park in Australasia."

 

The three KartSport clubs in the Auckland region, KartSport Mt Wellington, KartSport Auckland, and the Formula S KartSport club, were quick to see the potential of the site, with Messrs Cunningham and Hodgson tasked with working with council authorities to help turn Curtis' dream into reality.

 

Initially plans included all-new and dedicated facilities for KartSport, BMX, Speedway and MX activities and in its latest form the venue will have facilities for KartSport, BMX, MX, Off-Road Racing, Jet Sprinting (boats) and Radio Controlled Cars.

 

With their budget now approved, the Otara-Papatoetoe Board can now call tenders for the basic earthworks and infrastructure after which the new KartSport group set up to manage the track will take over and commission the rest of the work.

 

The multi-track complex planned will feature one 1500m main track, a second 800m club track and a 600m hire kart track, each able to run independently of the other at the same time.

 

As well as hosting race meetings Mr Cunningham says the facility will be able to be used for youth driver training and he expects the main 'club' building planned will be used by other groups with track facilities in the complex.

 

Mr Cunningham says the new facility will be a 'huge boost' to the sport in the Auckland area, with the existing clubs having to look on over the past 10-15 years as their own ageing facilities were usurped by upgrades to existing tracks at Hamilton and Palmerston North, and the building of an all-new international-spec track near Rotorua five years ago.

 

"It really is something to celebrate and it finally paves the way for us here (in Auckland) to bid for major international events like the CIK-FIA Oceania championships. As a city Auckland has all the facilities in terms of accommodation and infrastructure, but we haven't had a track to match. Now we will."

 

Mr Cunningham says that he expects the new facility to be ready to be officially opened in 2017.

 

KartSport has a proud history in Auckland with activity since 1959 and local clubs nurturing drivers of the calibre of three-time Indycar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, 2003 CIK-FIA World Karting Champion Wade Cunningham (one of Bob and Lyndsay Cunningham's three sons) and V8 Supercar race winner Fabian Coulthard.

 

There is also a strong historical link with motorsport in the area.

 

Motor industry identity George Henning established New Zealand's first permanent track - a large oval - in an extinct volcanic cone (Pukaki) on  the other side of Puhinui Rd in 1928 with events being organised there until 1935.

 

CAPTION: An artists' impression of the Colin Dale Park complex. Photo credit: Fast Company

 

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about KartSport in New Zealand contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz

 
KartSport New Zealand