The Pukekohe 500 is an endurance motor racing event first held in 1963 at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe, New Zealand.

History

The Pukekohe 500 has its origins in the Wills Six-Hour race that was first held in 1963 as a production car race, soon after the circuit opened.[1][2] From 1967, the event mandated that New Zealand-built production cars can only be entered into the race.[3] Through the first decades of the race, the event became recognised as the second most significant race on the New Zealand motorsport calendar behind the New Zealand Grand Prix.[1] In the early 1980s, a three race endurance series was held with races also at and Manfeild.[3]

In the mid 1980s, the race rose to international prominence when it adopted Group A touring car regulations and was linked with the Wellington 500 street race. The two races attracted Group A racing teams from Australia, Europe and Asia though until the end of the Group A era in the early 1990s.[4] The 1988 round was part of the Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship with Wellington, the Bathurst 1000 in Australia and the . The 1993 and 1994 events were held to Super Touring regulations before dropping off the calendar altogether with the demise of the Wellington 500.

From 2001, the predominant touring car event at Pukekohe was superseded by the Auckland SuperSprint, an round of the Australian Supercars Championship series held at the circuit. However, the Pukekohe 500 name was revived in 2012 as a V8SuperTourer endurance event, albeit held over three races.[5] The meeting proved popular with large crowds attending. Greg Murphy rekindled his success from the V8 Supercars era at Pukekohe by winning two of the three races. The V8SuperTourer series folded in 2015 and with it the running of the Pukekohe 500.

The event was revived in 2019 as a production event. In 2020, Mark Leonard and Peter Sprague, descendants of Leo Leonard and Ernie and Gary Sprague who won the race a combined 14 times, entered the race.[6]

Winners

1963–1966 layout
1967–1989 layout
1990–2012 layout
Year Driver/s Car Team Report
Six hours
1963 New Zealand
New Zealand Tony Shelly
Jaguar Mark 2
1964 New Zealand
New Zealand
Lotus Cortina
1965 New Zealand
New Zealand
Jaguar Mark 2
1966 New Zealand
New Zealand Tony Shelly
Jaguar Mark 2
1967 New Zealand
New Zealand
Ford Zodiac
500 miles
1968 New Zealand
New Zealand
Vauxhall Victor
1969 New Zealand
New Zealand
Vauxhall Victor
1970 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant
1971 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant
1972 New Zealand Jim Richards
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1973 New Zealand Jim Richards
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1974 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1000 kilometres
1975 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1976 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1977 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1978 New Zealand
New Zealand
Chrysler Valiant Charger
1979 New Zealand
New Zealand
Volkswagen Golf Mk1
1980 New Zealand
New Zealand
Holden VB Commodore
250 miles
1981 New Zealand
New Zealand
Ford Fairmont
1982 New Zealand
New Zealand Neville Crichton
Holden VH Commodore
1983 New Zealand Denny Hulme
New Zealand
Holden VH Commodore
1984 New Zealand
New Zealand
BMW 635 CSi H. Kent Baigent
1985 New Zealand Neville Crichton
New Zealand
BMW 635 CSi Report
1986 Australia John Harvey
New Zealand
Holden VK Commodore SS Group A Holden Dealer Team
19871 Australia Larry Perkins
New Zealand Denny Hulme
Holden VK Commodore SS Group A Perkins Engineering
Italy Gianfranco Brancatelli
Australia Allan Grice
BMW M3 Mark Petch Motorsport
1988 Australia Andrew Miedecke
United Kingdom Steve Soper
Ford Sierra RS500 Miedecke Motorsport
1989 Australia Dick Johnson
Australia John Bowe
Ford Sierra RS500 Dick Johnson Racing
1990 Australia Peter Brock
Australia Andrew Miedecke
Ford Sierra RS500 Mobil 1 Racing
1991 New Zealand Jim Richards
Australia Mark Skaife
Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R Gibson Motorsport
1992 Italy Emanuele Pirro
Germany Joachim Winkelhock
BMW M3 Evolution Schnitzer Motorsport
1993 New Zealand Paul Radisich
Australia Glenn Seton
Ford Mondeo Si Rousesport
1994 United Kingdom Julian Bailey Toyota Corona Toyota New Zealand
1995

2011
Not held
2012 New Zealand Greg Murphy
Australia Jack Perkins
Holden VE Commodore M3 Racing
2013 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Australia James Moffat
Holden VE Commodore Scott McLaughlin Racing
2014 New Zealand Simon Evans
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden VE Commodore
2015

2018
Not held
500 miles
2019 New Zealand
New Zealand
Toyota MR2
2020 New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand
Honda Integra
Notes
  • ^1 – Two separate events were held in 1987.

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
7 New Zealand 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1981
5 New Zealand 1965, 1972, 1973, 1979, 1980
4 New Zealand 1974, 1978, 1982, 1985
New Zealand 1967, 1969, 1970, 1977
3 New Zealand Jim Richards 1972, 1973, 1991
New Zealand 1967, 1975, 1981
2 New Zealand 1963, 1966
New Zealand 1963, 1966
New Zealand 1971, 1976
New Zealand 1979, 1980
Australia 1984, 1986
New Zealand Neville Crichton 1982, 1985
New Zealand Denny Hulme 1983, 1987
Australia Andrew Miedecke 1988, 1990

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
9 Chrysler
8 Holden
6 Ford
4 BMW
3 Jaguar
2 Vauxhall
Toyota

Event sponsors

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Stock, Mike (21 May 2011). "From the rack to the track". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  2. ^ Richards, Gerard (20 September 2015). "Winding back the clock to remember the Benson and Hedges 500/1000". The Motorhood. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b Holmes, Steve (22 October 2013). "The Roaring Season - Photos: The Allan Cameron Collection - Part 2". www.theroaringseason.com. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  4. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (1 November 2018). "Flashback: Supercars' first NZ adventure". Supercars. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  5. ^ "V8 SuperTourers' International 500 moves to Pukekohe | Scoop News". Scoop (website). 10 April 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  6. ^ Sail, Doug (22 October 2020). "Leonard/Sprague combination back as Timaru racers emulate dad and grandad at Pukekohe". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 24 July 2021.