Sometimes reality catches up with us with sad news. Circuit in Pukekohe Park will be dismantled to fully focus on equine activities. After this announcement, things moved quickly and iRacing and track management ensure that the legendary oceanic track is preserved on the simulator.
The famous Pukekohe Park circuit will be preserved in the leading motorsport simulator service iRacing. Confirmation of the agreement between iRacing and the track owners will come the week of the last Supercars Championship appearance at the track.
iRacing is the world’s leading motorsport simulation platform, best known for its incredible realism and accuracy. All vehicles and tracks on the platform are laser scanned and digitally recreated with unparalleled accuracy and detail.
It’s not the first time iRacing has scanned a circuit before closing it in real life; Oran Park was scanned before it was converted to housing in 2010. With motorsport activity at the circuit due to cease in April 2023, it became clear that iRacing’s historic New Zealand circuit should be laser scanned.
“Within hours of the announcement of the Pukekohe Park repurposing, we reached out to iRacing to scan the circuit and they agreed almost immediately,” said Elton Goonan, CEO of MotorSport New Zealand.
Demand for the digital version of the circuit from competitors and fans alike was evident, as an online petition garnered nearly 7,000 signatures and support from ‘King of Pukekohe’ Greg Murphy, as well as Supercars and IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin.
“While we were working behind the scenes, the petition and campaign by James Anderson, a passionate fan and sim racer, certainly helped bring this to the point,” added Goonan.
“iRacing is proud to help preserve such an important piece of New Zealand motorsport history as Pukekohe Park,” said Steve Myers, Executive Vice President of iRacing.
“From supercars to the New Zealand Grand Prix, Pukekohe has hosted many of the world’s top racers and most competitive racing series for almost 60 years. By bringing the circuit to iRacing, future generations will have the opportunity to drive the famous circuit exactly as it was before it closed and give them a sense of what made this circuit so loved by so many.”
Best known in recent times for hosting the New Zealand round of the Supercars Championship, Pukekohe has a history stretching back decades. The track has seen some of the biggest names in global motorsports on its pavement since it opened in 1963. During the 29th New Zealand Grand Prix the track hosted Formula One stars such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Keke Rosberg have all lapped the track.
“We were delighted to collaborate on a solution where Pukekohe Park lives on, albeit virtually, for generations to come,” added Paul Wilcox, CEO of Auckland Thoroughbred Racing.
With a wide range of new iRacing content already in the pipeline, there is no release date for Pukekohe Park, but the all-important laser scanned data and images will be captured prior to the circuit’s closure.
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