Rock star to drive in vin­tage car rally

Pink Floyd drum­mer Nick Ma­son is to be a VIP guest on an in­ter­na­tional vin­tage rally in New Zealand, writes Eoin Young

South Waikato News - - YEAR IN REVIEW -

Top rock drum­mer, car col­lec­tor and racer, Nick Ma­son of Pink Floyd, will be VIP guest of hon­our for the 2012 in­ter­na­tional vin­tage rally based around Wan­ganui in the fi­nal fort­night of Jan­uary, cov­er­ing a to­tal of 1000km. Nearly 700 cars will run on dif­fer­ent roads on rally days, fan­ning over routes based on the hub of Wan­ganui. Nick Ma­son and his wife An­nette will be driv­ing a rare 2.3-litre 1934 6C2300 Alfa Romeo GT nick­named Roma.

There are 42 over­seas en­tries with cars com­ing from Eng­land, Europe, the United States, Canada, Aus­tralia, Ire­land, Swe­den and the Cook Is­lands. High­light dis­play cars from the South­ward Mu­seum in­clude two 1950s clas­sics the 250F Maserati Grand Prix car raced by Chris Amon early in his ca­reer and a Fer­rari 750 Monza sport­sracer.

The for­mal open­ing of the rally is at 3pm on Tues­day, Jan­uary 17 in Wan­ganui’s Spring­vale Park.

Nick Ma­son’s com­pe­ti­tion sched­ule shows him fol­low­ing the rally route to Haw­era on Jan­uary 18, to Hun­ter­ville on Jan­uary 19 and to Feild­ing on Jan­uary 20. The Pomeroy Tro­phy events on Satur­day, Jan­uary 21 on the Man­feild cir­cuit fea­ture 100 cars com­pet­ing for the cov­eted tro­phy to a com­pli­cated for­mula worked out orig­i­nally by Lau­rence Pomeroy, who wrote the fa­mous Grand Prix Car his­tory vol­umes in the 1950s. Some en­trants have a car for the rally and an­other for the Pomeroy event. Sun­day is the pub­lic dis­play day in Wan­ganui.

Ma­son will be com­pet­ing at Man­feild with the rally Alfa Romeo and will also be do­ing demon­stra­tion laps in the Gulf-gt40 Ford, a replica of a Le Mans win­ner. He drove five times in the fa­mous 24- hour race at Le Mans from 1979 to 1984, he has also raced in the cross- coun­try Mex­i­can Road Race and reg­u­larly com­petes in vin­tage events in Bri­tain with his 1935 As­ton Martin Ul­ster.

He has a large col­lec­tion of clas­sic rac­ing cars based in hangars on an air­field he bought in Bri­tain to house them. Ma­son is one of very few driv­ers signed by Audi to race their mighty pre- war 6.1- litre 520hp Auto Union Grand Prix cars.

Af­ter of­fi­cial rally func­tions over the week­end the event picks up again on Tues­day, Jan­uary 24 with Ma­son driv­ing to Mar­ton, a Whanganui River ex­pe­ri­ence on Jan­uary 25 and the fi­nal run to Ratana with the of­fi­cial clos­ing cer­e­mony at the rally venue in Wan­ganui on Jan­uary 26.

Rally en­tries to watch for in­clude Reece Bur­nett’s 1910 Amer­i­can La France. Nick­named Mr Toad, the big car was re­stored in New Zealand in the 1970s with a unique multi- pur­pose body con­fig­u­ra­tion so that it can be used as a tourer, a road­ster or a speed­ster. It has com­peted in ma­jor New Zealand ral­lies since 1980, the Cen­ten­nial Rally in Aus­tralia and also toured across the US.

Steve Trott has an Amer­i­can 1935 su­per­charged Auburn. There are two of the French clas­sic Bu­gat­tis. Ter­ence Roy­croft will drive the 1925 Type 35A raced by his fa­mous fa­ther Ron Roy­croft on New Zealand cir­cuits in the 1950s.

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