Organisers of the 2013 Taupo 1000 international offroad race have confirmed a record entry for September’s event, with pre-race ‘intent’ registrations standing at 140.
Taupo 1000 spokesperson Tony Saelman says the race now has a major sponsor, television coverage confirmed, an all-new course based around a ‘classic’ 50 km lap, and the biggest-ever entry – all of which are “a major step forward” and an endorsement of the quality of the event itself.
The two-day endurance race recently signed a main sponsor and will be known as the ENZED Taupo 1000.
“We’re really pleased that such a high profile company as ENZED, with such a long and proud history of involvement in motorsport, has become our main sponsor and event partner. This adds so much to the months of hard work we do as race organisers and volunteers to make this iconic race happen,” he said.
It is the first time ENZED has become involved in offroad racing at such a high level.
With eight weeks until the race cars and trucks grid up to race, five former Taupo champions have confirmed they will compete. They are Alan Butler (Auckland), Clim Lammers (Hikurangi), Tony McCall (Auckland), Melvin Rouse (Whangarei) and Clive Thornton (Whakatane).
Run over three days in September, the Taupo 1000 is the longest, toughest, fastest offroad race in the southern hemisphere, completing 1000 km over two days – or the equivalent of a Bathurst 1000 track race without once running on sealed roads. Free practice and qualifying laps are to be held over a short course on Friday 13 September, with the race itself taking place on the Saturday and Sunday and competitors aiming to complete up to 500 km per day.
The event has been plotted over a new course based around a 50 km lap on new roads never used for the race in its 20 year history, with a new pit and prologue area on rolling farmland just 12 kilometres from Taupo.
“We always try to run to a 50 km lap, it’s part of the challenge of the event. The race runs over two days for safety, and to ensure people get a good run at the whole event. It’s an epic distance and an epic course, and we are very excited to see the response from racers,” said Mr Saelman.
The international standing of the Taupo 1000 grows year by year. With race teams planning their Taupo 1000 assault up to two years before the event, the event always draws record numbers of media and is covered for television in New Zealand and Australia.
The Taupo 1000’s official coverage will screen in New Zealand on TV3. In Australia, the race will be shown on Simon Christie’s popular 4WD TV programme. Christie and his crew have covered the Taupo 1000 since 2007.
Each year the online profile of the race grows, with its Facebook page attracting tens of thousands of views per day and a race-weekend daily ‘reach’ approaching 400,000. Racers post on-board and other footage on Youtube and link the coverage back to their own team’s social media channels and to the event page.
This year, the race will once more be a feature of the CRC Speedshow, New Zealand’s biggest automotive and motorsport expo.
“Every time this race happens it takes huge steps beyond what has gone before. One of the great things this year is the new track. We have been able to bring the race much closer to Taupo, and the new start-finish and pit area is on wide, open rolling farmland which means spectators get to see plenty of race action from the one location,” said Mr Saelman.
The 2013 ENZED Taupo 1000 begins with practice and qualifying on Friday September 13. Race days are Septrember 14 and 15. Event information is available online at the race website www.taupo1000.co.nz and on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/EnzedTaupo1000