Per­fect score for Ken Smith

Motor Equipment News - - MOTTSPORT - Story by Ross MacKay. Pho­tos by Lance Hastie.

With a lights-to-flag vic­tory in the SAS Au­toparts MSC NZ F5000 Tas­man Cup Re­vival Se­ries fea­ture race at the an­nual NZ Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing meet­ing at Hamp­ton Downs on Sun­day Jan­uary 22 Kiwi rac­ing leg­end Ken Smith (Lola T332) made dom­i­nat­ing the meet­ing named in his hon­our easy.

Af­ter­wards though the 75-year-old said it was any­thing but.

“It might look it from the out­side when you are that far in front, but I was giv­ing it 110 per­cent out there, don’t you worry about that.”

Smith, a three-time win­ner of the New Zealand Grand Prix, four-time win­ner of the SAS Au­toparts MSC NZ F5000 Se­ries, and now con­test­ing his 59th con­sec­u­tive sea­son at a na­tional level was the fea­tured driver at this year’s Fes­ti­val meet­ing. And he didn’t dis­ap­point.

As well as qual­i­fy­ing quick­est and set­ting the fastest race laps in all three SAS Au­toparts MSC F5000 cat­e­gory races he won all but one of the races in the two other cat­e­gories he con­tested in other cars, For­mula Li­bre and His­toric For­mula Ford.

He also got to drive the War­wick Mor­timer-owned 1972 McLaren M8F Can-Am car on dis­play at the meet­ing and give VIPs the ride of their life in fel­low F5000 driver Greg Thorn­ton’s unique tan­dem twoseater Lola T192.

Smith’s per­for­mance in the fea­ture 12-lap SAS Au­toparts MSC race mir­rored that in the other two over the race week­end. Af­ter early chal­lenges from Mark Dwyer (Lola T332) and Clark Proc­tor (March 72A/1) the se­ri­ously fast sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian put the ham­mer down and eased away as those be­hind him tus­sled over the mi­nor places.

“The car was going good, and han­dling well but I did back off a bit to­wards the end when I saw how far back the other two were,” he said.

The Fes­ti­val meet­ing was a first on the new 3.8km In­ter­na­tional cir­cuit for Smith though you would never have guessed it.

“It took me a while to get my head around, but now I’ve done some laps round the place I’ve got a bet­ter han­dle on it,” he said.

Hamp­ton Downs cir­cuit owner Tony Quinn said to­day that the Ken Smith trib­ute meet­ing was one of ‘the best ever’ and next year the Fes­ti­val meet­ing will cel­e­brate Bathurst.

Rac­ing ace Ken Smith was in his el­e­ment at the two-day New Zealand Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing meet­ing named in his hon­our at Hamp­ton Downs in Jan­uary. Smith got to drive a num­ber of cars as well as his SAS Au­toparts MSC F5000 Tas­man Cup Re­vival Se­ries race win­ning Lola T332. The meet­ing also hosted races for For­mula Ju­nior and His­toric For­mula Fords as well as For­mula Li­bre (sports cars as well as sin­gle-seaters) and var­i­ous His­toric Mus­cle and Tour­ing Car classes. Photo credit: Fast Com­pany/Lance Hastie

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.