Motorsport: New Zealand Grand Prix gets new home with Hampton Downs confirmed for 2021 event

The iconic New Zealand Grand Prix has a new home, with confirmation the 66th running of the event will take place at Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park.

The race has been staged at Manfield, in Feilding, for the last 12 years, but the shift to the North Waikato will ring in a new era for a the motorsport tradition.

Newshub understands Hampton Downs management hopes to attract some of New Zealand's  top racers for the 28-lap event.

With the race set for January 24, many of New Zealand's leading drivers will be out of season and most likely back home, meaning the likes of Shane van Gisbergen, Brendon Hartley, Liam Lawson and Andre Heimgartner could be enticed to enter.

Van Gisbergen recently competed at the Jack Ridge rally event in Auckland, alongside fellow Kiwis Greg Murphy and Hayden Paddon. 

While the event will still form part of the Toyota Racing Series, attracting an all-star line-up for the Grand Prix could ensure petrol heads flock to the track for the weekend. 

Newshub understands several young European drivers will head downunder for the motorsport summer to race alongside local talent.

The New Zealand race is one of only two official FIA-sanctioned events permitted to carry the Grand Prix title that are not part of the annual Formula One World Championship. The other is the Macau Grand Prix.

The list of winners includes the late Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, John Surtees, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and Kiwi legends Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Paul Radisich and Greg Murphy.

More recently, the race has been won by former Le Mans champion Earl Bamber, Supercars ace Fabian Coulthard, Formula E's Mitch Evans, and current F1 drivers Lando Norris and Lance Stroll.

Three-time winner Kenny Smith will be aiming to make his 50th Grand Prix start - a record achievement.

The MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned event - a joint venture by Hampton Downs and Speed Works Events - will run over the weekend of January 22-24 with practice, qualifying and two races for drivers, before the New Zealand Grand Prix itself on Sunday 24.