NO FAIRY-TALE

NZV8 - - ON TRACK/HRC NEWS -

There was no fairy-tale fin­ish for Kiwi su­per vet Ken Smith (Lola T332) in the MSC NZ F5000 Tas­man Cup Re­vival Se­ries races at the an­nual VHRR Phillip Is­land Clas­sic mo­tor-rac­ing meet­ing in Aus­tralia re­cently. Smith ended up third rather than the first he was aim­ing for in both Sun­day races. How­ever, that didn’t stop the 73- year- old from prais­ing the meet­ing and the driv­ers he bat­tled with over the week­end, Tom Tweedie and Tim Ber­ry­man. “It’s been magic, just magic,” Smith said, af­ter an all-ac­tion eight-lap fi­nal won by cat­e­gory and se­ries new­comer Tim Ber­ry­man, from the fastest qual­i­fier and win­ner of the three other F5000 races at the 27th an­nual Phillip Is­land Clas­sic meet­ing, Tom Tweedie. “This is one of the world’s great cir­cuits and I’ve had a ball, an ab­so­lute ball all week­end.’” The round was the fi­nal of the 2015–’16 MSC NZ F5000 Tas­man Cup Re­vival Se­ries, with Ken Smith claim­ing his fourth ti­tle af­ter dom­i­nat­ing all four New Zealand rounds. Plans for the 2016–’ 17 se­ries are al­ready well ad­vanced, with the open­ing round ex­pected to be con­tested at a high- pro­file his­toric meet­ing at Perth’s Barbagallo Race­way in Oc­to­ber. That will be the MSC se­ries’ first visit to West­ern Aus­tralia, and the meet­ing will set the tone for a sea­son ex­pected to in­clude sev­eral other firsts — one a spe­cial Aus­tralia ver­sus New Zealand chal­lenge ‘ test se­ries’; an­other the re­turn of the ‘Race of Cham­pi­ons’ con­cept pop­u­lar in the UK in the 1970s, whereby the top For­mula 1 cars of the pe­riod were pit­ted against the top For­mula 5000s. Though fi­nal venue and date de­tails are yet to be sorted, a pro­vi­sional calendar looks like start­ing with three meet­ings in Aus­tralia later this year — at Barbagallo, Sandown Race­course, and Syd­ney Mo­tor­sport Park — fol­lowed by three in New Zealand in the new year. The first of those will be at the 2017 New Zealand Festival of Mo­tor Rac­ing meet­ing at Hamp­ton Downs — which will cel­e­brate the life and ca­reer of Ken Smith — with the sec­ond at a new his­toric meet­ing at Bruce McLaren Mo­tor­sport Park at Taupo (both in Jan­uary) and the third at the an­nual Skope Clas­sic meet­ing at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Mo­tor­sport Park at Rua­puna in Fe­bru­ary. There is also the like­li­hood of at least one other round in New Zealand or Aus­tralia.

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