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F5000 series saves its best till last

New Zealand’s popular SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series has saved its best till last this season, with as many as 13 of the classic V8-powered ‘wings-and-slicks’ single-seater racing cars expected on the grid at the Taupo International Motorsport track for the final round of the 2021/22 series over the May 14-15 weekend.

Heading the pack after qualifying quickest and winning two of the three races at the opening round of the 2021/22 series at Hampton Downs over the March 26-17 weekend will be Piha, Auckland ace Grant Martin driving his Talon MR1/A.

That meeting, held while NZ was still seeing COVD-19 numbers rising every day, saw just nine cars face the starter. That number had increased to 12 (starters) at the second round of the 2021/22 SAS Autoparts MSC series at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park a fortnight later.

And with another driver confirming this week his intention to make his series’ return at the Taupo final this weekend, a top-class field of as many as 13 cars is expected.

Set to join Grant Martin and his bright red Talon MR1/A, and three-time former series’ title-holder Steve Ross from Dunedin in his distinctive, dark blue Quicksilver Racing-liveried McRae GM1 on the grid at Taupo are Aucklander Glenn Richards (Lola T400) and fellow Lola T332 drivers Tony Galbraith from Hampton Downs, Kevin Ingram from Feilding, Russell Greer from Blenheim, and series newcomer Bruce Kett from Silverdale.

Set to make his third appearance in as many rounds behind the wheel, meanwhile, of his unique, ex-British Hillclimb Championship Chevron B32 is ex-pat Brit Alastair Chalmers, whose pace and racecraft have come along in leaps and bounds since his first raced the car at the opening round of the 2021/22 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series at Hampton Downs earlier in the year.

Also expected back on track at the final round of what is the 19th annual SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, are F5000 category tech guru Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) from Auckland and category/car aficionado Tim Rush (McLaren M22) from Feilding.

Finally with three of the older (Class A) McLaren M10B cars now a regular feature at any SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 series round, it will be interesting to watch and see how far up the race finishing order Tony Roberts, Frank Karl and Toby Annabell can drive them to.

The SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors SAS Autoparts, MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney’s Specialised Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide Batteries.

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