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
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.