I have just organised a five day trip up to Hamilton next month, so thought I would preview that. Hamilton isn’t somewhere you’d ordinarily broadcast a visit to, or even visit in the first place*, but once a year it hosts the Australian V8 Supercars and this counts as a worthy reason to enter the city.
*ok it really isn’t too bad, it just gets a bit of stick.
In 1992 I took up an opportunity to be a motorsport volunteer, being very keen to step beyond spectator status, and found myself out on a flagpoint. I fell in love with this pastime and for the next 10 years I was a regular out at the Pukekohe circuit, and occasionally other places – highlights of which were street races in Wellington (the good old Nissan Mobil 500), Whangarei, Hamilton and Whenuapai (brilliant classic car events), and Paeroa for bikes. When it was announced the V8 Supercars series would include a round in NZ I was sooo excited. For the first few years they were at Pukekohe before relocating to Hamilton in a street race format.
Moving to Wellington nine years ago meant giving up regular flagmarshalling, but I have travelled back up north for at least one event a year. Last year I had to miss Hamilton, though substituted it with something else, so it will be great to go back. Three long days at the track will take the stuffing out of me, especially being as out of practice as I am, but it will be fantastic being so close to the noise and action again.
And I will get to visit my Waikato-based Gran too!