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Historic GP title won by Steve Ross

It was the 50-year-old McRae GM-1 of Dunedin’s Steve Ross that triumphed at today’s Historic GP title – contested by the SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival series.

The final of three races held at the Taupō International Motorsport Park, today’s 10-lap race for the Historic GP title was held under brilliant sunny skies and 27degC conditions.

Taking the #5 McRae to the lead at the first turn, Ross steered around the Lola T332 of Kevin Ingram to lead from the opening lap through to the chequered flag.

“That was a very tough race,” said Ross at the end.

“Kevin ran right up my bum the whole time – I thought I was going to be in trouble there. So it is a very nice feeling to be here first.”

Ingram worked hard to find a way past, keeping pace with Ross and ultimately finishing in second place, 0.816sec behind.

“I wasn’t quite fast enough, was I,” joked Ingram. “I’d like to thank my wife. Without her I wouldn’t be doing this – and sponsors, SAS and Pacifica Shipping Company. They really support us – and of course Super Sprint (the event promoters).”

Third was the 650hp Lola T332 of Te Kauwhata’s Tony Galbraith.

“I put some new tyres on and the car works good – so very happy with that,” said Galbraith of his result, finishing 1m16sec behind.

On hand to award the podium getters with their GP trophies was 1970 Tasman Series winner Graeme Lawrence.

Of the ten starters eight made it to the finish. First was the Lola T332 of Codie Banks, who pitted after a lap to resolve an electrical issue with his fuel metering. Russell Greer pitted his Lola T332 after five laps, choosing to retire after a glancing impact, when he felt the steering out of alignment.

Hawera’s Tony Annabell in the Class A leading McLaren M10B wrapped up the field.

The day started with an eight-lap handicap start race. Toby Annabell was first to turn-one, to be hunted down by the chasing nine cars. Ross took the chequered flag 2.896sec ahead of Codie Banks while the blue Lola T332 of Kaukapakapa’s Bruce Kett rounded the morning podium.

Annabell’s McLaren M10B finished ninth with Windelburn only retiring entry after two laps.

It is now two weeks until the third round for the 2024 season, which heads for the South Island and the popular Skope Classic (2-4 February) at Christchurch’s Euromarque Motorsport Park. The following 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.

Continuing to support the SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in its 21st season are SAS Autoparts, MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney’s Specialised Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Avon Tyres, Webdesign, Exide Batteries and Pacifica Shipping – who sea freight the cars for the New Zealand events.

You can follow the series on Facebook at F5000 New Zealand or via the official website www.f5000.co.nz.

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