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Racing Academy

About Us

New Zealand has always punched above its weight on the world stage when it comes to motorsport. Now, the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy (HDNZRA) will make it easier for drivers to gain the skills and experience they need to take their sport to the next level and develop the next generation of talent.

Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy has been created to upskill and support local and international drivers at a world-class facility. Whether you’re wanting to make the jump from go-karts to cars or have been racing cars for several years and want to hone your skills to improve as a racing driver, we have something for you!

The academy is primarily designed for up and coming drivers to learn basic and advanced driving skills but it is also open to club racers who want to improve their technique.

Hampton Downs is proud of New Zealand’s rich motorsport legacy and is fast becoming a hub for the sport with the Toyota Racing Series and drift car driver ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett’s team, just a few of the motorsport brands to be based out of Hampton Downs.

Profiles

IMPRESSIVE INSTRUCTORS

Chief Instructor

DANIEL GAUNT (ACE)

Hometown: Auckland

Daniel has extensive history racing in both New Zealand and overseas.  He is a 2-time NZGP Champion

  • 2x Toyota Racing Series Champion
  • 2x NZ Grand Prix Winner
  • 2020 Asian Lemans LMP2
  • V8 Supercar endurance driver 2009-2013
  • Porsche NZ GT3 Cup Champion
  • Australian Drivers Champion
  • Indy Lights
Chief Engineer

MARK PILCHER

  • Team Principal M2 Competition
  • M2 Competition 7x Toyota Racing Series Champions
  • Star Drivers – Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, Nick Cassidy to name a few
Instructor

Paul Blomquist

  • Formula Renault Sweden
  • Swedish GT
  • Carrera Cup Sweden
Instructor

Damon Leitch

  • Toyota Racing series race winner
  • 3rd Toyota Racing Series Championship
Profiles

Ambassadors

Kenny Smith

  • NZ Motorsport Icon
  • 16x NZ Championships
  • Over 50 years & counting racing!

Tony Quinn

  • Owner Hampton Downs & Highlands Motorsport Parks
  • Targa Tasmania Champion
  • Fierce GT competitor

Greg Murphy

  • 4x Bathurst 1000 winner
  • V8 Supercar Icon

I’ve been team mates with Dan in 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2020. The Academy looks like great fun, more importantly you learn from one of the most complete competitors in the game

Supercar Driver
Shane Van Gisbergen

The Academy is going to add to the incredible driver talent that New Zealand has produced over the years

NZ Driving Legend
Greg Murphy

New Zealand has needed an affordable structure like this for quite some time

NZ Motorsport Legend
Kenny Smith

Our vision is  an all encompassing approach to  developing future kiwi world champions, by aligning the benefactors, programmes, resources and talent in a streamlined approach to ensure the best chance of success.    Our intention, like all of what we do at Hamptons and Highlands is to be the very best of what is on offer, to deliver great value, and to develop a world class reputation of delivering  Kiwi world champions, continuing on from the great work many generous benefactors in NZ have already done.

COO - Hampton Downs & Highlands Motorsport Parks
Josie Spillane