The 2008 Junior Tasman Series was arranged to celebrate the 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the international Formula Junior racing car that originally raced in the period between 1958 and 1963. The series comprised three races at Pukekohe NZ, Three at Taupo NZ, Two at Calder Park Vic., and four at Phillip Island with the grid split into three categories comprising early front engine cars, rear engine drum brake, and rear engine disc brake cars, and each competed equally for points to win the prized gold cup on offer.
The overall winner and recipient of the Gold cup was Clive Wilson from GB with a perfect score, driving his very competitive 1960 front engine Mk2 Lola with alloy Costin body. Second overall, and winner of the disc brake class was Peter Strauss in a BT6 Brabham, followed by Bill Hemming driving his recently acquired Elfin into third position, and winner of the drum brake class.
Of the 50 cars that contested the series, 27 were Australian owned and driven, and 14 of these Aussie cars crossed the Tasman sea in January to contest the early rounds in NZ, where they had mixed success due to the fragile nature of their highly tuned 1100cc engines, but by the time they were required to compete in the local events, all had been restored to their full performance capability, using that true Aussie spirit of late nights in the workshop.
At each circuit the commentators and spectators were agreed that the racing was some of the best seen in recent times with cars passing one another, and at Phillip Island there were 3 cars belonging to Australian Peter Strauss, Englishman Jonathan Williamson, and American Ned Spieker contesting the lead side by side on the straight, lap after lap. +
KELVIN C. PRIOR