MSC F5000 field close to double for high summer meetings.

After a 17-strong entry at the Christchurch Casino Wigram Revival Meeting at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in October indications are that there will at least 29 cars ready to take to the grid for the two New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing - Chris Amon meetings at the northern Waikato circuit over the January 22/23 and 29/30 weekends.

Adding the biggest fillip to the field is a six-strong contingent of drivers from the UK, with Peter Dunn (March 72\3A) and Michael Whatley (Surtees TS8) stepping back into their New Zealand-based cars and Mark Dwyer, (Lola T400), Frank and Michael Lyons (Eagle FA74 & Lola T400) and Greg Thornton (Surtees TS11) again shipping theirs out from Great Britain.

Australia will also be represented, in this case by Bob Harborow (Lola T192) and Chris Lambden (McRae GM1), as will Canada by Jay Esterer (McRae GM1).

Chris Amon, the New Zealand driver whose stellar international career this year's two New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrates, raced two Formula 5000 single-seaters here in New Zealand, a Lotus 70 in 1971 and a Talon MR1A in 1975.

The Talon (now owned by MSC series front-runner Aaron Burson) will be one of a number of cars either once driven by or associated with Amon which will be on active display at the two Hampton Down meetings.

After winning the Lady Wigram Trophy for a record-equalling fourth time at the Christchurch Casino Wigram Revival meeting in Christchurch in October, defending series champion Ken Smith (Lola T430) continues to head the entry list from top local drivers Steve Ross (McRae GM1), Ian Clements, Sefton Gibb (both Lola T322) and Aaron Burson (McRae GM1).

Last season's Lady Wigram Trophy winner, Aucklander Roger Williams (Lola T332), who struck engine problems at Christchurch, should also be a factor at the two Hampton Down meetings as will Blenheim man Russell Greer (Lola T332), Christchurch driver Stan Redmond (Lola T332) and Rotorua's Brett Willis (Lola T330).

The two Hampton Down meetings will also see the return to the track of Aucklanders Stu Lush (McRae GM1), Alastair Russell (McRae GM1), Hamish Patterson (Chevron B32), Warwick Mortimer (Surtees TS5), Kerry McIntosh (Begg FM2) and Calven Bonney (Begg 018), as well as the first North Island appearance of series newcomers Andrew Higgins (Lola T400) and former New Zealand saloon car racing standouts, Peter Sundberg (Lola T332) and Reg Cook (Lola T400).

The two NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Chris Amon meetings will have complementary programmes with classic motorcycles supplementing the single-seater and historic/classic saloons the first weekend, and Muscle Cars doing the honours at the second.

At the second meeting there will also be a special F1-style qualifying shoot-out on Friday January 28 to determine the grid for the first MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series race with two timed sessions to find the fastest ten and a third to establish the starting order of that ten.

For more information about the two NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Chris Amon meetings go towww.nzfmr.co.nz.

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, Smith & Davies, Avon Tyres and Exide.

Ends

2010/11 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
Calendar
Rnd 1: Oct 30/31 2010 Christchurch Casino Wigram revival meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch
Rnd 2: Jan 21-23 2011 NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Chris Amon meeting x 1 Hampton Downs Auckland
Rnd 3: Jan 28-30 2011 NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Chris Amon meeting x 2 Hampton Downs Auckland
Rnd 4: Feb 05/06 2011 Skope Classic meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch
Rnd 5: Feb 19-20 2011 Evolution Motorsport Classic Speedfest meeting, Teretonga Park Invercargill