Or­mula 1 has been turn­ing heads and win­ning hearts since 1950, but never be­fore has a full field of cars raced in New Zealand. That’s all set to change in early 2017 when, for the first time, a grid full of For­mula 1 cars will line

New Zealand Classic Car - - News -

up at Taupo’s Bruce Mclaren Mo­tor­sport Park.

Around 15 rare and ex­pen­sive clas­sic For­mula 1 ma­chines have been con­firmed to com­pete at the event, with the hope be­ing to relive the ac­tion that the sport provided dur­ing the 1960s and 1970s.

While a sim­i­lar his­toric event takes place in Monaco each year and draws crowds from around the globe, this is likely to be­come the first time most New Zealan­ders will have such easy ac­cess to the ve­hi­cles.

Un­der­stand­ably, Taupo res­i­dent and rac­ing le­gend Chris Amon — who drove For­mula 1 ve­hi­cles dur­ing the pe­riod — is ex­cited about see­ing the cars so close to home. Adding to the Kiwi For­mula 1 con­nec­tion is the name of the venue, with the late Bruce Mclaren be­ing one of Amon’s team­mates.

Both driv­ers were part of the his­toric Ford GT40 Le Mans win, which took place 50 years ago this com­ing week­end — see the cur­rent is­sue of NZV8 for a full ar­ti­cle.

The event that the ve­hi­cles will com­pete in will take place over Jan­uary 28–29, 2017 and will pit the For­mula 1 ve­hi­cles against the equally his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant For­mula 5000s, which are the pin­na­cle of open-wheeler rac­ing lo­cally.

De­spite the val­ues of the ve­hi­cles, we are sure that driv­ers won’t hold back — they will all be keen to take home the ti­tle and brag­ging rights that would go with be­com­ing a coun­try’s first-ever For­mula 1 cham­pion.

One of the ve­hi­cles com­ing from abroad to com­pete at the event is a Mclaren M26 now owned by Frank Lyons, pres­i­dent of the His­toric Sports Car Club, which is re­spon­si­ble for plenty of his­toric rac­ing events in the UK. The car was driven by 1976 world cham­pion James Hunt, mak­ing it ex­tremely valu­able and his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant. It’s not alone, though — the ve­hi­cles sched­uled to com­pete all boast vary­ing de­grees of his­toric pedi­gree.

We’ll bring you more on the event over the next few months.

Make sure you book an ap­point­ment on the couch for 2pm each Sun­day un­til the end of July — TV3’S where you want to be to catch a load of NAC Car Cul­ture. See, hear, and ex­pe­ri­ence some of the coolest cars we’ve had on our pages and get an in­side view of the best events, sheds, and work­shops our small coun­try has to of­fer. Don’t worry if you’ve missed a few episodes, be­cause you can watch them all — com­pletely free — at the­mo­tor­hood.com. Just search ‘Car Cul­ture’ for back episodes.

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