Historic Muscle Cars Update
The HMC effort at the 2015 Gulf Oil New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing (NZFMR) in January was considered overall a big success, and attending the 2015 event were the Queensland-based Australian Trans-am teams, last in New Zealand in 2013. There were eight ATA cars which, added to the 20 HMC cars, made for a spectacular sight of genuine period-correct historic racing sedans, and the largest grid of such vehicles ever assembled in this country.
The 22,000-strong crowd that attended the NZFMR was entertained both at trackside, and in the pits. For the first time, and to add a little extra drama and give the class a more period feel, a pair of classic Ford Mustang convertibles were rolled out each weekend to pace the big field before they were set away.
Meanwhile, back in the pits the impressive line-up of HMC marquees housing the cars made for spectacular viewing, with bonnets up, noses facing outward. As has become tradition now with HMC at this event, several living legends of NZ saloon car racing history were on hand to sign posters and other memorabilia, including Paul Fahey, Dennis Marwood, and Leo Leonard. Celebrating our rich saloon car racing history is an important part of the HMC DNA.
Following the NZFMR, the HMC season finished off in March with the Legends of Speed. For this event HMC reverted to racing with the Historic Saloon Cars group for period correct (mostly small-bore) pre-1977 historic T&C and Schedule K racing saloons. A healthy grid of around 20 cars entered the event and put on some great racing, with the small cars nipping away at the big bangers, just as they did in period.
Heading into winter, and for some HMC teams the hectic schedule will continue, with a planned return to Australia to race once again with ATA at Queensland Raceway, and Lakeside. In 2013 eight HMC cars made the trip, but on this occasion the adventure extends to the 2015 Australian Muscle Car Masters at Eastern Creek, where ATA will also compete.
More info on Historic Muscle Cars can be found at the HMC website, historicmusclecars.co.nz, or through the HMC online discussion forum at The Roaring Season, theroaringseason.com.