There’s a fresh focus for New Zealand’s world-leading MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series this season with four points rounds here and the option for local drivers to compete at a further four – or even five – non-points meetings across the Tasman organised by the Australian F5000 association
The calendar move is one of a number made by a new management committee, chaired by Tony Roberts, voted in at the NZ Formula 5000 Association’s annual general meeting in May.
“We were given a number of directives by our drivers at the meeting, says Roberts. “One that came through loud and clear was that we should support our key local historic and classic events.”
Roberts – a founder member of the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association in 2000, before going on with colleague Chris Watson to plan, build and manage the Hampton Downs motor racing circuit south of Auckland – is joined on the new management committee by regular series competitors Aaron Burson, Ian Clements, Andrew Higgins and Tony Richards, and long-time category engineer and crew chief Barry Miller.
As well as a desire to re-focus key series’ rounds closer to home this season members also agreed that the new committee should make more of an effort to ensure all cars competing in the series – from here and overseas – comply with both the letter and spirit of the FIA Historic regulations which cover the category.
“Which means,” says Roberts, “correct engines, correct aerodynamics, even correct period liveries. Engines will also be rev-limited this season, both to keep costs down and maintain parity amongst competitors.”
Since the first round of the inaugural Tasman Cup Revival Series at Pukekohe Park Raceway in September 2003, the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association has spearheaded a worldwide resurgence of interest in the stock-block 5-litre V8 single-seater F5000 category and though entries were down a little last season on their peak of three of four years ago the number of cars being imported and rebuilt here with the series in mind continues to increase.
Last season the Association had 88 owner/drivers with race-ready cars on its books, the majority – 49 – Kiwis, but with its own domestic series now up and running Australia now has 18 to supplement the 10 from the UK, one (former Lady Wigram trophy holder Jay Esterer) from Canada and the balance from the United States of America.
This season over 20 of the Kiwi regulars are committed to contesting all four rounds of the series with others set to do one or more, plus there are four newcomers with cars either here already, on their way, or in the latter stages of local rebuild.
Four Association members – three-time former series champion Ken Smith (Lola T332), last season’s runner-up Clark Proctor (March 71/A), Auckalnder Andrew Higgins (Lola T400) and Tim Rush (McLaren M22) from Feilding – have also entered the first two rounds of this season’s Australian series in late August and early September with the possibility of other drviers shipping their cars across the Tasman for the Phillip Island Classic meeting in early March and – if the category is asked to provide a support class field – to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix meeting at Melbourne’s Albert Park a week later.
The MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney’s Specialized Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide.
2013/14 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
Rnd 1: Nov 8-10 2013 ‘The Sound’ MG Classic Manfeild Feilding
Rnd 2: Jan 17-19 2014 NZFMR Ferrari Festival – 1 Hampton Downs Nth Waikato
Rnd 3: Jan 24-16 2014 NZFMR Ferrari Festival – 2 Hampton Downs Nth Waikato
Rnd 4: Feb 01-02 2014 Skope Classic Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch
2013/14 Formula 5000 Australia Cup Series (invitational rounds)
Rnd 1: Aug 31-Sept 01 2013 Muscle Car Masters meeting Sydney Motorsport Park Sydney
Rnd 2: Sept 13-15 2013 Sandown 500 meeting (V8 Supercars) Sandown Melbourne
Rnd 3: Nov 08-10 2013 Sandown Historics meeting Sandown Melbourne
Rnd 4: March 07-09 2014 Phillip Island Classic meeting Phillip Island Melbourne
Rnd 5: (provisional yet to be confirmed) March 14-16 2014 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix meeting Albert Park Melbourne
Prepared by FAST COMPANY of behalf of the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association http://www.F5000.co.nz