Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to rev your engines and get ready for another adrenaline-packed ITM 500 in Auckland.
About the ITM 500
Each year, thousands of Kiwis and Aussies travel to Auckland to see some of the best names in V8 motor sport. In fact, last year the event drew in more than 117,000 fans, and if the spectacle in 2014 was any indication, there's no telling what to expect in 2015. Needless to say, with this many spectators, it may be wise to book early. On Friday, the opening rounds are practises, which let you see what kinds of times the front runners will race in.
The gloves come off on Saturday, when the first qualifying races are run and the Top Ten Shootout picks who will stand on top for the main event.
How to Get to Pukekohe
During all three days of the event, there are several ways you can make your way to Pukekohe Park Raceway:
- By bus: In 2013, the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and V8 Supercars set up special buses that departed from the North Shore in Auckland to the venue for pre-purchase ticket holders and it is likely that they will do so again this year, since the success of the event was so great.
- By train: There is always the trusty rail network that departs every 15 minutes from the Southern Line and additional trains to the Pukekohe Rail Station. Luckily, this station is just 1.5 kilometres from the track. This is one of the most popular ways to get to the ITM 500, so be sure to leave early to avoid lengthened travel times.
- By car: There is ample parking at the venue if you choose to travel by car. If you are coming from the south, it is best to use exits 466 and 461, and if you are coming from the north, opt for the off-ramps at exit 471 for better traffic flow.
If you are seeking to share in the excitement and thrills, there are a number of ticket options available. Children 12 and under enter free while general admission tickets are cheaper on the Friday, with Saturday and Sunday passes being a little more expensive as the action heats up.
Guests can purchase multiple-day passes, with a three-day general admission ticket available. Grandstand tickets are available, with numerous upgrade options available. An additional Paddock Pass, which gets you behind the scenes, only costs an little bit extra. Full info can be found on the ITM 500 website here.
Attending the EventThe gates usually open between 7:00am and 8:00am each day, and guests can stay at the track until approx. 7:00pm. each night, with races beginning as early as 8:30am. Guests can purchase an official program at the main gate, and a family area features exciting fun for kids. Food venues will be available, although guests can carry in their own food.
Staying in the Area
If you plan on attending the event, finding the right accommodation is important. Auckland features a number of beautiful accommodation options, with plenty of holiday home rentals available for those seeking spacious, affordable accommodation on a budget.
If you plan to stay longer than the three days, there are many additional activities to enjoy in the Auckland area. Travelers can take part in thrilling recreational activities, such as ATV tours, horseback riding adventures, and golfing excursions. Travelers can also unwind in the sun and experience exhilarating surfing journeys on any of the many beaches, relax on quiet museum tours, or explore the stunning landscape on leisurely walking tours.
The ITM 500 is a wonderful family-oriented event that is great for motor sport enthusiasts and those looking to support their favourite drivers. Plus, the area features excellent opportunities for families and groups looking to experience both a thrilling and a relaxing weekend getaway.
Note: All dates & information in the above article were correct as of 10 March 2014.
Photo courtesy of Ravisha Wijesinghe