STRONG AUSSIE ENTRY BOOSTS MSC FESTIVAL FIELD


Six Australian drivers are crossing the Tasman for the two meetings, taking the number of entries for the MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races at the Jan 18-20 and 25-27 2013 meetings to 35.  

Heading the Aussie squad is 2012/13 MSC series round one race winner Bryan Sala from Melbourne who will drive a Matich A50/51. He will be joined at the two meetings here by fellow Victorians Paul Zazryn (Lola T332), and Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8), South Australian John Bryant (Lola T140), and Rod Carroll (Lola T140) and Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) from New South Wales.  

The two mid-summer meetings at Hampton Downs have traditionally attracted a number of drivers from around the world and the 2013 ones are no different.  

Local MSC series regulars continue to make up the bulk of the field. But their numbers will be supplemented this year by the six entries from across the Tasman, three - Mike Whatley (Lola T300 & Surtees TS8), Greg Thornton (McRae GM1) and Mark Dwyer (Lola T400) - from the UK, two - Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) and Eric Haga (Lola T190) - from the United States, and one - expat Brit Peter Dunn (March 73A) - from Monaco.   

After two points rounds - one in Australia and one here - so far this season, defending MSC series title holder Steve Ross holds a 33 point lead over Auckland driver Aaron Burson (McRae GM1 with Ken Smith just a point behind in third place with class newcomer David Banks (Talon MR1A) fourth and David Abbott (Lola T430) from Christchurch fifth.  

Ross and Bryan Sala shared wins at the opening round of the 2012/13 MSC series at the big Muscle Car Masters meeting in Sydney in September but Ross staged an impressive clean sweep to claim the prestigious Lady Wigram Trophy at the second, in Christchurch, a month later.  

Dark horse at the two NZ Festival meetings, however, could well be regular UK visitor Greg Thornton. At the recent non-championship MSC series round at Australia's biennial Tasman Revival meeting in Sydney he won two of the four races in his newly acquired ex Stuart Lush McRae GM1.  

The two NZ Festival of Motor Racing - celebrating Denny Hulme meetings are again expected to attract large crowds with cars either once driven by or associated with New Zealand's only Formula 1 World Champion being shipped in from all over the world for display and/or demonstration.  

After the two rounds at the NZ Festival meetings at Hampton Downs the MSC series title chase heads south for the penultimate round at the annual Skope Classic meeting at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna Park over the Febnruary 02-03 weekend and the final at Invercargill's Teretonga Park a fortnight later.  

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 and Exide.