Mercedes-Benz

Meet our Managing Director, Craig Innes

18.09.2019

Introducing Craig Innes, the Managing Director for Mercedes-Benz North Shore. Under his leadership, we have won Mercedes-Benz Retailer of the Year for three consecutive years – 2016, 2017 and 2018. Not only did this incredible achievement recognise us as the best retailer in New Zealand, but also the largest Mercedes-Benz retail outlet in the country.

Recently, Craig had a chat to Aidan Bennett from Channel Magazine about his passion for motor racing and growing up in the automotive industry. Read on to learn more about the driving force behind Mercedes-Benz North Shore.

AIDAN BENNETT: When did you first take an interest in Motorsport and how did you get involved in the sport?

CRAIG INNES: My father used to race but retired around the time I was born. I always remember being fascinated watching Bathurst on TV with him as a young child but when I was eight years old he took me to Pukekohe to watch what was the second round (after Wellington) of the Nissan Mobil 500 Series. I was amazed at what I saw and didn’t leave my seat all day – not even to get lunch! I decided then that I wanted to do this one day. At that point we didn’t know Kart Racing existed, but when I was 11 we went to the Hamilton Kart Club to watch a family friend Marc Lawrence race. It took me about six months after that to convince Mum and Dad to let me have a go at Karting and they purchased a Kart for my 12th birthday.


AB: What competitive driving have you done and what vehicles do you compete in these days?

CI: I raced Karts until my early 20s and did a little bit of touring car racing in a Nissan Sentra GT. With a very generous payment scheme to help me get started I purchased a Formula Ford from Kenny Smith in 2005 which is what really got me going. Since then I have raced in a number of cars and classes, all of which have either been Touring or GT Cars. Most recently I have competed in endurance racing mainly in Porsches, Seats and Ferraris. 


AB: What is the best motor racing vehicle you have ever driven?

CI: That would be a car that we have done a lot of endurance racing in – a 2012 Ferrari 458 Challenge. It is owned by Wellington businessman Tim O’Connor and I have been lucky enough to be racing it since it was new.
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AB: What motorsport events have you been to around the world (as a competitor), and do you have a favourite?

CI: My favourite track to race on is Phillip Island (near Melbourne, Victoria) in Australia. It is so smooth, fast and flowing. Watching the Moto GP bikes race there is always next level as having driven there you really appreciate what those guys can do.


AB: Complete the following… If I was given one wish related to motorsport, to complete in an event, drive a certain car or on a certain race track, that wish would be…

CI: To have raced a V8 Supercar at Bathurst as this is what I grew up watching. I have had the opportunity to drive a V8 Supercar so I am very lucky in that respect but to do that race would have been amazing.