New Zealand officially has a new international-standard road track. Highlands Motorsport Park is a 2.8-mile circuit with three complete tracks that can be safely operated at the same time. Designed to serve as a members-only facility, the boots on the ground say track is likely one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere.

The organizers behind Highlands wanted give the facility a proper break in, so rather than throw some sort of gala, they simply unleashed Craig Baird and a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 on the course with just one instruction: set the first official track record.

Baird is something of a legend in New Zealand, having won three consecutive New Zealand Formula Atlantic Championship titles as well as four consecutive New Zealand Touring Car Championship titles, and he wasted no time in putting hammer to steel in the MP4-12C GT3. By the time all was said and done, the track was left with a 1:41.9-second lap. Something tells us that one's going to stand for awhile, though Baird says he thinks he can get his time down into the 1:30s with a bit more practice. That may be the case, but we're simply glad for the excuse to watch the guy hammer on this McLaren. Check it out.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Brandon Chappell
      • 2 Years Ago
      Absolute crap driving. Chicane looks as if it could be taken flat in that car. If he was a bit more patient and had a higher entry speed into the sweeper he could easily cut at least a couple tenths. On and off the throttle through corners is like nails on a chalk board.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another item to the bucket list... amazing car, amazing driving, amazing course.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was there and it was a fantastic weekend!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Justin Ooms
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was just driving this in iRacing. This track too I hope gets scanned in, as it's gorgeous!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a reasonably fun track, but I am surprised that they didn't build in a bit more altitude variation.
        • 2 Years Ago
        and theres not much runoff on that track. He came REAL close to the outside wall at the beginning of the lap...great driving and I agree as the track get more use it will get much quicker. I believe that a 1:37/38 in the same conditions except for the dust would be possible for him
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