And they’re still buzzing about it.
Queenstowners among the 27,000 fans to soak up thrills at the launch event of Cromwell’s new motorsport park can see plenty of benefits.
Jack’s Point co-developer John Darby says Highlands Motorsport Park – which last weekend hosted the Australian GT Championships and endurance race the Highlands 101 – will be good for Queenstown as the gateway, but adds: “Its impact for Central Otago, which often doesn’t get enough exposure because of the shadow of Queenstown, is going to be great.
“I just think it’s going to grow into the biggest motorsport event in New Zealand and one of the top on the Australasian calendar.
Gibbston’s Rob Hay says it’s got to be one of the best things to happen to Central Otago and the lower half of the South Island for 25 years.
“Just drawing an extra crowd for a new event is another feather in the cap of Queenstown and Central.
“You can see why it all makes sense. The weather is so consistently good and you’re only 50km from an international airport so petrol-heads from Australia can easily come over here and have their car stored over here.”
Queenstowner Peter Ramsay adds: “You can see the economic impact because I drove only 45 minutes from Queenstown yet you’re wandering around amongst thousands of people and you don’t bump into that many people you know – I’ve run into people from the Marlborough Sounds.”