Historic international cars coming
Five New Zealand motorracing circuits will feature in a worldwide celebration of historic racing when the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee reaches local shores in January and February 2017.
More than 50 historic Formula Junior single-seater race cars from abroad are expected to be shipped to New Zealand as part of the international 50th anniversary celebrations of the motor-racing formula that started in Italy in 1958. The international competitors will join around 30 local Formula Junior cars to race at Hampton Downs, Taupo, Christchurch, Timaru and Invercargill racing circuits.
Terry Collier, who will compete in the New Zealand Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee races and is acting as spokesperson for the group of Kiwi Formula Junior enthusiasts helping organize the New Zealand leg of the celebratory world tour, said: “Formula Juniors were basically scaled-down Formula 1 cars of the period from 1958 to 1963, but built from easily available production car components such as Fiat, Saab, Ford Anglia and Austin A40. The ‘ junior’ positions these cars in reference to the ‘senior’ Formula 1 cars of that era. As well as being miniature Formula 1 cars, the Formula Junior class also straddled an important time in terms of technological changes, in particular, the move from drum to disc brakes and from front to rear engine designs.
“Fans can see many, many cars with fascinating pedigrees at the New Zealand races, such as the ex Dennis Hulme Cooper T51 being raced by Kevin Anderson of Christchurch and a Brabham BT2 being driven by John Rapley of Paraparaumu, which was once raced by ‘great train robber’ Roy James.”
The Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee celebrations began earlier this year with races in South Africa, then moved to Europe over the past few months with several New Zealanders transporting their cars to race at prestigious events such as the Historic Monaco Grand Prix. The celebratory world tour reaches Australia in October and November this year, before moving to New Zealand in January and February 2017, then going on to North America and finishing in Europe in 2018.
“We’re expecting around 90 Formula Juniors to compete in the events scheduled at Hampton Downs, Taupo, Ruapuna (Christchurch), Levels (Timaru) and Teretonga (Invercargill). These events will also include races for other historic and classic classes featuring local cars and drivers.”
For more information visit formulajunior.com or keep an eye on facebook.com/ Motorsportnewzealand.
Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee New Zealand segment, event dates:
January 13–15 — Hampton Downs
January 20–22 — Hampton Downs (new long circuit)
January 27–29 — Bruce Mclaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
February 3–5 — Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch
February 11–12 — Levels Raceway, Timaru
February 18–19 — Teretonga Park, Invercargill