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Ratel in Talks for Asia-Pacific GT3 Race in New Zealand

Third round of proposed Asian-Pacific GT Series in New Zealand?

Photo: Hampton Downs

Photo: Hampton Downs

The third round of the proposed Asia-Pacific GT3 Endurance Championship could take place in New Zealand, with SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel in talks to host a race for potentially as early as next year.

SpeedCafe reports that Ratel has been in discussions with Tony Quinn, owner of both Highlands Park and Hampton Downs, for a possible event to join the 12-hour endurance races at Bathurst and Sepang on the calendar.

As previously reported by Sportscar365, Ratel said he would need a third event, at a minimum, in order to launch a viable championship aimed for GT3 cars in the region.

“I embraced it [the conversation with Ratel] with open arms and particularly at Hampton Downs [an Asia Pacific GT event] would a be a great thing,” Quinn told Speedcafe.com.

“[Stephane] started off talking about Highlands Park because he has heard some good things but at the end of the conversation it was kind of agreed that to make a commercial success of it then Hampton Downs would be better.”

The 10-turn, 2.361-mile circuit, located near Aukland, was built in 2007 and has played host to the New Zealand-based V8SuperTourers Championship.

“If I was to put it on a percentage scale I would say 85 percent we would do something,” Quinn added. “His man and Ken Collier [Australian GT Championship manager] are now talking dates.”

Quinn said the earliest they could hold a race would be late 2016 due to ongoing circuit upgrades.

Read the full article here.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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