The return of the SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival series for the 2024 season includes the Historic GP title – being awarded this weekend at the Taupō International Motorsport Park 19-21 January.
Akin to a Grand Prix, the Historic GP is an eclectic collection of iconic cars, with the overall title being contested in a winner-takes-all final race on a Sunday afternoon.
A total of seven categories will run at the event – a round of the televised Super Sprint MotorSport New Zealand Championship series.
Fielding a grid of 14 cars, the F5000 teams will headline the historic competition, surrounded by many other notable cars in original and competitive condition.
Series co-ordinator Tony Jack says it’s about the cars and not the drivers – meaning their race results don’t count toward any series title: “It was fast and furious when we ran a championship type series – now we are back to celebrating the cars and where they place in each race.”
He added the Taupō venue is one where the drivers can really stretch the legs of the massive 5-litre engine: “It’s a challenging circuit for the cars – a real exercise of the mind. That said, there are also lots of clear passing opportunities – and with them going so fast, it doesn’t take long to complete a lap.”
With three races on the weekend schedule, it follows the traditional Friday practice and Saturday morning qualifying. The first eight-lap race will be held on Saturday afternoon, followed by a second eight-lap and handicap start race on Sunday morning, with the Historic GP title race contested over 10 laps from 3:30 pm in the afternoon.
Following each race’s chequered flag finish, the top three cars will celebrate at the event podium – live on television.
“The number of TV cameras is a point I’ve mentioned to the drivers – that nothing will be missed,” said Jack. “Every move they make will be for the world to see.”
There to greet the winner of the weekend’s Historic GP race will be prominent F5000 drivers and former Grand Prix winners Graeme Lawrence and Ken Smith – who will award the title.
With most cars arriving in Taupō on Thursday, the group (weather permitting) intends to gather at the Northcote Reserve for the Market Central event from 6 pm.
Driver autograph posters will be available.
Following the Historic Grand Prix (18-21 January) the teams journey south to Christchurch for the Skope Classic (2-4 February). The next destination is Australia for the Phillip Island Classic (7-10 March) – the trans-Tasman leg of the season. Also confirmed is a supporting appearance at the Australia Grand Prix – 21-24 March.