Event > Ferrari Festival at Hampton Downs (Part 2)
While the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing's theme for 2014 was about celebrating the Ferrari brand, there was no shortage of entertainment from the support classes that ran over the 2 weekends either.
The Pre '78 and invited Sports, Sports Racing and GT races provided some epic battles, with Tony Roberts' 7.6L V8-powered Corvette Stingray up against Frank and Michael Lyons' beautiful Ferrari 308 all the way from the UK.
I'm a big fan of the Aussie Falcon coupes from the 1970s, so Cameron Crawford's beast was one car that I watched with great envy all weekend.
A slightly smaller Ford - but equally appealing, was this Mk 1 Ford Escort RS2000, driven by Bruce Manon in the first weekend, and Michael Sexton in the second.
As I was walking through the pit area, my attention was drawn to a crowd of people around a race car, and this view stopped me dead in my tracks. I'd never seen or heard of this car until now (I'm a little too young, I guess), but this 1972 Chrysler Charger was campaigned by Graeme Addis in the glory days of New Zealand Sports Sedan racing in the 70s and 80s.
The Charger has been modified and rebuilt several times over the years, eventually receiving a full space frame chassis, rear-mounted 6L V8 Chevrolet engine, and suspension from a Formula 5000 Lola. After disappearing from NZ race circuits for a few decades, the car has undergone a major restoration, and is back on the track with Graeme Addis behind the wheel again!
An open class of BMWs competed throughout the first weekend of the festival, and a field of close to 20 E30 BMWs competed during the second weekend.
A show and shine was held in the infield car park over both weekends, which included a large selection of vehicles of all shapes, sizes and eras.
This 5L V8 Mustang parked beside a 1275cc Morris Mini was probably the most unusual pairing in the show and shine. There really was something for everyone!
I've spotted this car at Hampton Downs before, and I'm pleased to see that the genuine AE86 Trueno coupe is still in excellent excellent and original condition. If you look carefully, you can see that the owner is a member of www.oldschool.co.nz - a New Zealand-based car community for lovers of older cars.
Stepping back a further 50 years or so, this 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe was one of my favourites of the line up. When you pick such an attractive body shape to begin with, you can't really go wrong with just a little bit of 'low'.
More classic American goodness in the form of a 1960s Lincoln Continental.
This 1966 Ford Mustang was immaculate from every angle, and drew plenty of comments about it's impressive engine bay.
It's rare to see Honda's flagship car from the 90s on New Zealand roads, but even rarer to see one being driven on a race circuit.
Steven Price's NSX competed in the Classic Trial, along with Sheridan Broadbent's vitamin C orange Chrysler Valiant Pacer...
...Geoff Boyden's Holden Torana SS...
...and Allan Horner's Austin Healey Sprite.
Nathan Wood's Ford Fairmont XF blows some pretty decent flames on overrun now as the car continues to evolve with each race meeting. Slick tyres for this event meant a significant drop in lap times compared to running on semis.
A New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing event just wouldn't be the same without a field of F5000s roaring around the track, as Clark Proctor demonstrates in his March 73A-1.
There were a few mechanical breakages during the 6 day event, so we didn't quite get to see the full entry list of 23 cars on the track at once...
...but having a V6 turbo Formula 1 car competing amongst them made up for that, and they were still one of the highlights of the festival!
If there was a prize for 'meanest looking car on track', then it would have to go to the ex-Peter Sherman 1972 McLaren M8 E/F, driven by Roger Williams. It would be a runner-up for 'best sounding car' too, thanks to its 8.4L V8 engine - but that prize would definitely belong to...
...the V12 Ferrari 412T1/T1B, previously driven by works drivers Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger in the 1994 Formula 1 World Championship. Pure aural bliss.
Stay tuned for my final instalment of coverage from the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Ferrari, where I will be focusing on the many Ferraris that attended this event.
- Brent Shaw