Preview – 2010 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing

For two weekends in January 2010 New Zealand is playing host to the inaugural NZ Festival of Motor Racing, Celebrating Bruce McLaren.

More than 400 entrants are lining up for the event, including some 90 or so from Australia. Highlighting the event will be 45 Formula 5000’s from around the world, the almighty McLaren Can-Am cars and a myraid of other cars Bruce McLaren raced, designed and built.

One such car Bruce raced in the late fifties was the Cooper T51, now owned and regularly raced wth continuing success by master coachbuilder Rod Jolley from the UK.

Below is a recent press release circulated by the organisers, including details on purchasing ‘early-bird’ tickets.

For more details on the event, please visit the Official web site at To see more information on the two circuits the Festival will be competing at please visit the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park web site & the Pukehohe Park Raceway web site.

Early birds will get pick of seats for classic racers festival

An estimated NZ$50 million plus of some of the sport’s most iconic racers will gather for meetings at the tracks – January 22nd-24th at Hampton Downs and January 29th-31st at Pukekohe – with the first theme a celebration of the life and achievements of racer and race car builder Bruce McLaren and early bird tickets – with a discount of around 15% – are now available directly from the Festival Web Site –

It is the first New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing and organisers are hoping to make it an annual fixture. The Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival have been running for more than a decade in the UK, and the Festival of Speed is now UK’s single biggest motorsports event with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending.

With ten different race classes running at the New Zealand Festival, and with some great cars running in each of those classes, it is difficult to pick which class will appeal most – but there is certainly something for everyone in the huge field of entries. The event has captured the imagination of historic racing drivers and enthusiasts all over the world, with many cars being shipped from places like the UK and USA to take part in the historic event.

One of the classes running on Sunday January 24th at Hampton Downs will carry the title of Tasman Grand Prix – and the entry list of cars in this class is simply outstanding. There will be no fewer than six McLaren cars, including two F1 cars and the owners of three other historic McLaren racers are working overtime to make sure they are also on the starting grid. A large percentage of the cars have not been seen on any New Zealand track previously, and a few are making reappearance after many years elsewhere.

The team behind the New Zealand event – which includes historic racer and former fighter pilot Jim Barclay – is confident their event will have the same appeal and that it will capture the imagination of families, racers and motoring enthusiasts alike.

“What will be amazing about this event is that the general public can look around the paddock and get up close and personal with the cars as well as meeting some of the country’s legendary drivers from the past four or five decades. This is an amazing opportunity to be part of an historic event.

“We are hoping the whole atmosphere will transport people back to how motor racing used to be in the days of Bruce McLaren and we are encouraging spectators to get into the spirit of the event and turn up in classic cars and period clothing.

“There has never been an event in this country that brings together so many valuable and iconic historic and classic race cars and the first event has attracted entries from all over the world including Europe, the United Kingdom, the USA, Asia, and Australia. We are expecting more than 400 historic and classic racing cars and that should provide the basis for an unmissable feast of motor sport heritage.

“We would urge people to get their tickets sorted nice and early. This is a cult market and we believe there will be a very solid attendance from New Zealanders who love racing cars or can remember the heyday of these awesome machines.”

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