The Hampton Downs 101 will be the Hampton Downs 500 in 2017 and the event will take place over the weekend of October 28/29. Tony Quinn and the Australian GT category management have decided to change from a 101 lap race to a 500km race, so essentially adding another 100 km in distance and sending teams back to the drawing board to work on a strategy that will see them have to pit three times and manage fuel differently. The change will certainly give spectators a whole lot more to look forward to.
The Highlands 101 will also change to the Highlands 501, which will be raced over 501 kilometres to create the New Zealand 1001.
“The new format will add roughly 20 laps to each race which may not sound a lot but it means there will be a third pitstop and two driver changes which will mean a change in strategy for the teams. It will also have implications for tyres and fuel and we’re getting rid of the compulsory timed pit stops which were used to handicap the faster drivers. It will be a true endurance test.”
GT cars are built to do 24 hour endurance races and at the Highlands 101, the fastest lap of the race was set on the penultimate lap by Kiwi driver, Dominic Storey.
Support categories will take to the track between the AGT sessions and there will be the mega family zone, exhibits and experiences for all ages and family interests.