New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words: Steve Holmes Pho­tos: Dewi Jones


We can now con­firm there will be eight teams mak­ing the trip across the ditch from the Queens­land-based Aus­tralian Trans-am se­ries to race with His­toric Mus­cle Cars at the 2015 New Zealand Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor Rac­ing. The teams are:

Ian Wood­ward: 1970 Pon­tiac Fire­bird John English: 1968 Ford Mus­tang An­thony Tenkate: 1969 Ford Mus­tang Shane Wil­son: 1970 Ford Mus­tang Harry Char­alam­bous: 1967 Ford Mus­tang Mike Collins: 1966 Ford Mus­tang Shane Cowham: 1968 Ford Mus­tang Al­wyn Bishop: 1968 Ford Mus­tang

Un­like His­toric Mus­cle Cars, Aus­tralian Trans-am runs to a cham­pi­onship struc­ture, which in 2014 was con­tested over seven rounds, all of which were held in Queens­land. Ad­di­tion­ally, ATA raced at the Aus­tralian Mus­cle Car Masters for the first time in 2014. Within ATA there are two cham­pi­onship classes, the Tenkate Plant Hire Aus­tralian Trans-am Se­ries, and the Fataz 5 Litre Aus­tralian Trans-am Se­ries. Mike Collins, Harry Char­alam­bous, and Shane Cowham will all con­test for 5 Litre se­ries points.

The HMC/ATA match-up will be an all mus­cle-car af­fair. In part this de­ci­sion was made nearly two years ago, at the 2013 NZFMR, the last time the Aussies vis­ited. At that event the his­toric sa­loon grid com­bined HMC, ATA, and the Un­der 3.0-litre his­toric sa­loons (now called His­toric Sa­loon Cars and run by HMC). In all, well over 40 cars en­tered, which made for some­thing of a high-speed traf­fic jam on the tight Hamp­ton Downs lay­out, and re­sulted in a small amount of body dam­age on some cars, de­spite ev­ery­one’s best at­tempts to stay clean. Just hav­ing the big cars run on their own will create a slightly smaller grid, but the cars them­selves can get up and re­ally stretch their legs.

Al­though HMC and ATA run to dif­fer­ent reg­u­la­tions, the two groups are both well matched per­for­mance-wise and, just as im­por­tantly, both groups place em­pha­sis on keep­ing the look of the cars pe­riod-cor­rect, and the wheel di­am­e­ters at 15 inches. The Aussie teams are as ex­cited to be com­ing to New Zealand as the HMC teams are to have them back. The two groups work well to­gether, and the rac­ing prom­ises to be elec­tric, while the TransTas­man mud-sling­ing in the pits be­tween races prom­ises to be just as en­ter­tain­ing.

Ad­di­tion­ally, as part of HMC’S ded­i­ca­tion to cel­e­brat­ing NZ sa­loon car rac­ing his­tory, spe­cial guests Paul Fa­hey, Leo Leonard, Kerry Grant, Den­nis Mar­wood, and Ray Stone will be at the HMC mar­quee sign­ing posters and chat­ting to race fans.

More info on His­toric Mus­cle Cars can be found at the HMC web­site: his­toric­mus­cle­ or through the HMC on­line dis­cus­sion fo­rum at The Roar­ing Sea­son: theroar­ingsea­

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