Circuit Overview

Timaru is now New Zealand's second-oldest continuously running circuit, with a history stretching back to 1967. 

With a mixture of tight corners and fast flowing sections, the circuit is challenge for drivers and known to be hard on tyres and brakes.

Although it has at various stages held FIA Grade 3 certification which would allow international events, the circuit now hosts New Zealand's Super Truck Series as its headline act, alongside a bustling calendar of club racing.

Circuit History

The circuit is owned by the South Canterbury Car Club, which first formed in 1947 to run hillclimbs and paddock events, before progressing to organising the Waimate 50 Street Race. This continued until 1966 after which the race organisation passed elsewhere and the South Canterbury Club organised its first race in Timaru in early 1967, on the streets around the Craigie Avenue area. This proved a success but was only a stopgap measure as plans were already being put in place for a permanent circuit.

In July 1965, the club decided to purchase 35 acres of land at Falveys Road, Levels, at a price of £100 an acre. It was originally part of a plot used for the the Timaru airport terminal.  Indeed, the former air traffic control building was used by the club into the early 2000s when it was finally demolished and replaced.

Work on the circuit commenced in 1967 and within a matter months a 1.6km circuit - christened the Levels Raceway - sprang up. The first event was held in December of the same year featuring, among others, reigning saloon car champion Robbie Franceivic in his new Ford Fairlane and Ford Mustang men Red Dawson and Rod Coppins.

Since those early days the club never looked back. Development has continued year on year, with club and National Championship racing the mainstay of activities.

In 1988 it was decided that it was time to move up a level and increase the length of the circuit. A new loop was added to its northern end, bringing the total lap length up to 2.4km. In addition, the chicane at Turns 5 and 6 was bypassed by a sweeping curve leading on the start/finsih straight, although the previous layout was retained for use by motorcycle racers.

Minor changes have primarily involved reconfigurations of the pit lane in 1990s and again in 2013, when it was extended to allow additional pit bays. Gradual resurfacing has also taken place around the entire length of the circuit.

The full circuit was until 2021 licensed to FIA Grade 3 which allowed the club to run international events up to GT classes as well as National Championships including the NZ Touring Cars (though these are not currently on the schedule) and Super Truck Racing.

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Circuit info

South Canterbury Car Club, PO Box 4008, Timaru 7942, New Zealand
+64 3-614 7514
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Official website

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