Proctor heads strong Kiwi field for MSC F5000 series opener at Sandown
Auckland’s Clark Proctor (aka The Metalman) heads a strong Kiwi contingent contesting the opening round of the 2014/15 MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival motor racing series at Melbourne’s Sandown circuit this weekend.
Clark won races and finished second overall in the 2012/13 MSC series, and after mechanical issues de-railed his 2013/14 campaign the talented all-rounder returns with a freshly rebuilt March 73/1A.
Proctor is one of a group of seven New Zealand-based MSC NZ Tasman Cup Revival Series regulars who will take on a similar number of resident Australian drivers in three MSC series races at the annual Historic meeting.
Joining him in flying the New Zealand flag are former series champions Steve Ross (McRae GM1) from Dunedin and Ian Clements (Lola T332) from Christchurch, Russell Greer (Lola T332) from Blenheim, 2012/13 series third place-getter David Banks and fellow Talon MR1 driver Grant Martin from Auckland, and Lotus 70 driver David Arrowsmith from Christchurch.
UK-based series’ regular Greg Thornton is also back for the full 2014/15 MSC series with the car he debuted at Hampton Downs last season, a rare Ford V6-powered March 75A.
Facing the Kiwi/UK squad is a field of top Australian F5000 category drivers led by Melbourne ace Bryan Sala (Matich A50/51), young gun Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24), and Richard Davison (Lola T332), the father of V8 Supercar drivers Alex and Will.
There will also be considerable interest in the series debut of one of Australia’s category originals, four-time Australian Drivers’ Championship winner Alfie Costanzo in a McLaren M10B.
Other local drivers in the 21-strong field are Australian category stalwarts Darcy Russell (Lola T330), Robert Harborow (Lola T192), Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8) and Chris Hocking (Matich A53), and new faces Peter Brennan (Lola T330) and Geoff Munday (Elfin MR5B.
The Sandown round of the 2014/15 MSC series round is the first of two in Australia, the Kiwi cars being shipped to Sydney later this month for the Historic Sports and Racing Car Association of New South Wales’ annual race meeting at the Sydney Motorsport Park over the November 29/30 weekend.
The first two New Zealand rounds of the 14/15 MSC series will then be held over consecutive weekends at the two Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival meetings at Hampton Downs in mid-January.
The final two will then be held over consecutive weekends in early February, the penultimate one at the annual Skope Classic meeting at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park (nee Ruapuna), and the final at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild.
Formula 5000 was New Zealand’s premier motor racing category from 1970 to 1975 and the organisers of the Gulf Oil-backed 2015 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing at Hampton Downs are eyeing a record line-up of local and overseas-based cars.
Close to 300 cars were built to contest the various Formula 5000 (Formula A in the United States and Canada) series around the world between 1968 and 1982 and as many as 60 are expected to line up at the two Festival meetings.
The MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney’s Specialized Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide.
Rnd 1: Nov 8-9 2014 VHRR Historic Sandown Melbourne Vic Aust
Rnd 2: Nov 29-30 2014 HSRCA Sydney Motorsport Park (Eastern Creek) Sydney NSW Aust
Rnd 3: Jan 16-18 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival #1 Hampton Downs Nth Waikato New Zealand
Rnd 4: Jan 23-25 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival #2 Hampton Downs Nth Waikato New Zealand
Rnd 5: Feb 6-7 2015 Skope Classic, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch, New Zealand
Rnd 6: Feb 12-15 2015 The NZIGP/Manfeild Trust/MSNZ/TRS Manfeild, Feilding, New Zealand