Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Highlands Sprint Series success draws praise and new sponsor

The popular 'have a go' style sprint racing series at Highlands Motorsport Park has received acclaim from competitors and a new sponsor for the up-coming series.

The unique format of the four-round series at the Cromwell race track, which attracts any make and model of car, is grass-roots racing at it's best. Most competitors are relatively new to motorsport and take part to enjoy the thrill of racing.

Each competitor chooses one of the four classes to enter, these classes are based on lap times and not by the make or horsepower of their cars.

It is this relaxed and friendly format that attracted Queenstown-based Service and Motorsport business M-Developments to sponsor the series, complimenting the entries from their customers.

"Although we race ourselves in endurance racing with our motorsport team, it's really rewarding for us to see people come along and give it a crack, starting fresh and enjoying the experience," said Laura Moore, who co-owns M-Developments with husband Barry.

"I'd like to see more females experience the sport and have a go," said Laura. "You don't need a massive budget or an expensive car to take part. This series is for everyone and it's really exciting to see people come in and enjoy the series for what it is."

The unique M-Developments Highlands Sprint Series features such innovations as Fast and Furious 8-lap races, in which the racing is interrupted at any time with a 'safety car' period, which bunches all the cars back together after the race start and then releases them for a final dash to the chequered flag.

Another feature of the series is the Joker Round. Competitors can choose one round of the series in which they score double points.

Two of the four rounds are standalone events while the other two rounds are part of feature meetings on the Highlands Motorsport Park calendar.

The sprint series opens as part of the South Island Endurance Championship meeting scheduled for Sunday October 3rd.

Highlands Motorsport Park CEO Josie Spillane says they identified the need for people who had never experienced motorsport before to have an opportunity to 'have a go' in a relaxed, club-style atmosphere.

"We wanted an event that enabled people to come along in a non-threatening environment to enjoy the thrill of racing while at the same time taking them on a bit of a journey of learning racecraft. It's been a remarkable success," said Spillane.

"It's as much about the racing on the track as it is the camaraderie in the pits and the social activities. We have our drive team on hand to give tips and tricks, everybody is there to make it a really supportive event."

For current Highlands Sprint Series champion Shane Hodgson, he says the chance to take part has been one of the most enjoyable experiences he's had so far competing in motorsport.

"First and foremost it's so well organised, like a well oiled machine. The guys and girls down there that run the series are super helpful, you know exactly what's happening when it's happening, on top of being at probably the best track in the country," said the Auckland-based Porsche 997 driver, who is hoping to compete again if Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Each year the format of the races can change. One year the racing may be rolling starts, another year can be standing starts.

Highlands Motorsport Park welcomes competitors and spectators alike to the M-Developments Sprint Series, with free admission to the complex all day.

After the opening round on October 3rd, there are two standalone events on November 13th and February 26th, 2022 before joining as part of the festival of Speed on 2-3rd of April, 2022.



Rd 1: October 3rd, 2021 (part of the South Island Endurance Series)

Rd 2: November 13th, 2021

Rd 3: 26 February, 2022

Rd 4: 2-3 April, 2022 (part of the Festival of Speed)

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland