NZ Festival of Motor Racing, celebrating Bruce McLaren
29-31 January 2010 – Pukekohe Raceway
In qualifying for the Formula Junior races Australians did well by occupying 3 of the top 6 places with Peter Struass (Brabham BT6) off 4th, Don Thallon (5th, BMC) and Bill Hemming (6th Elfin Catalina).
The Thallon team did very well to make the grid after completing a 7 hour gearbox repair after Friday’s qualifying session when a washer broke leaving the BMC FJ stuck in 2nd gear. The race resulted in Kim Shearn (Lotus 18, Victoria) claiming his desired result of passing Hemming at turn 1.
The Formula Ford action was fierce with three fighting for the lead before Ben Field (EldenFF) spun at turn two whilst dicing with Grant Campbell (Swift – & no relation to the VHRR Grant). Campbell then caught race leader Tony Graham (Reynard) and in a great last lap lunge under brakes at the final corner lead Graham across the finish line by 0.167 seconds to take a well earnt race win.
The action continued in the Tasman Cars race where two Australian’s came to grief when the Jane Brabham BT23 of Lance Carnwardne of Western Australia had an excursion at the end of the back straight, which Peter Addison (Brabham BT23C, NSW) was the innocent victim as the Jane-Brabham came back on to the straight and T-boned the Addison car causing extensive damage to the rear left suspension (see photo).
The Formula 5000 action resulted in a UK entrant hitting the wall on the back straight resulting in the race been declared under safety car with Ken Smith (Lola T430) taking the win. Smith’s dominance of the category in race two at 3 o’clock continued where he immediately pulled away from the competition in the first lap and managed to lap half the field on his way to victory. Aaron Lewis (NSW) took over the steering wheel of his Matich A50 from brother Phillip (who drove the car at Hampton Downs) and managed to qualify 6th, and finished 6th.
Shortly after this race the bright sunny day quickly turned as a deep weather front came through from the east and dampened the afternoon’s racing.
Report by: Charles Rogers / Historic Racing Australia