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Friday, Feb 28 12:53pm
AUTHOR: Zane Shackleton

NZ TRANZAM Challenge goes from strength to strength

The NZ TRANZAM Challenge says that the series is ready for more.


One of New Zealand’s most classically adored motor racing series has been attempting to rejuvenate the ‘good-old-days’ into today’s modern era of NZ motorsports.


NZ Tranzam was esteemed throughout its original tenure across the 90s.


The Big Bangers as they were known thrilled crowds and drivers alike, inking themselves into NZ’s motorsport history books.


Champions such as Kayne Scott, who clean swept the series between 1991 and 1995, abolished lap records across the country in his incredible Ford Mustang.


Or the world’s only ever Dodge Viper Trans-Am which held the outright lap record at Pukekohe for a seemingly unbeatable run. Even today the viper continues to race in the series, driven by Rob Berggren.

 

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Photo: theroaringseason.com

“We are coming to the end of our 3rd season of the reintroduction of TRANZAMS,” said Bob Cullinane, class Co-ordinator, in an exclusive story with Velocity News.


“Our fields are sitting at between 8 and 12 race cars and we are looking forward to next season where we hope to have another 3 cars join us. The fields offer a good range of makes and models including Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, Viper and a very rare Quale' Mangusta.”


The initial reintroduction of the Tranzam Challenge had been steady for Cullinane and his team, in what originally started out as a small group of owners making up grids of a handful of cars to race at historic events around the country.


However, the series has gone from strength to strength as it emerges itself back onto the racing scene.


The category was on the supports class for last year’s ITM Auckland Supersprint. The extremely loud roar from some NZ’s most fearsome classic machinery immediately became a crowd-pleaser. While the class could not comment on whether NZ Tranzam Challenge will be back on the grid at Hampton Downs this year, the series undoubtedly enjoyed the success of 2019’s rendition.


The most recent round from Taupo’s Historic GP witnessed more than 10,500 fans turn up to watch some amazing historical racing, including the astounding Tranzam Challenge. Organisers of the event said it was the venue’s biggest spectator turn out since the former A1GP days of the early 2000s.


The emergence of Trans-Am racing in Australia, Asia and America, coupled with a transition within NZ touring cars to follow similar regulations, the NZ Tranzam Challenge is beyond excited for the opportunities that exist for the future of the class.


“With the strong possibility of some TRANSAM T/A2 cars coming to New Zealand from Australia, the Motor racing public can be assured of continued entertainment,” added Cullinane.


“The looks, sound, close racing and larger fields will continue to be a crowd-pleaser.”


A grid made up of some of New Zealand’s most iconic and significant racecars paired alongside some of Australia’s best T/A2 cars could well be the future direction for the sport.


The next round of the NZ Tranzam Challenge will take place at Hampton Downs March 21-22.

 

Main Photo: NZ Tranzam Challenge

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