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Old Rivals clash in bumper F5000 Phillip Island field

Smith

Long past the age when their contemporaries have hung up their helmets, New Zealand motor racing legend Ken Smith and his Australian counterpart, Alfie Costanzo, will resume their on-track rivalry at the 27th annual Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport meeting this weekend (March 11-13).

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Kiwi legend Ken Smith will line up against fellow racing veteran Alfie Costanzo (H&S) at the VHRR Phillip Island Classic meeting this weekend. Photo credit: Fast Company/Alex Mitchell.

Both now 73 years of age, the pair will line up in five Formula 5000 races over the weekend – Smith in a 1976 Lola T332 and Costanzo in a 1970 McLaren M10B – amidst the huge 28-strong F5000 field.

With an unbroken career now spanning 58 consecutive national motor racing seasons at home in New Zealand, Smith, from Bombay south of Auckland, remains as quick and committed as ever and crosses the Tasman for the Phillip Island Classic meeting gunning for his fourth MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series title.

He is also a three-time winner both of the New Zealand Grand Prix and Lady Wigram Trophy race, as well as a two-time winner of the New Zealand Motor Cup.Alfredo Costanzo (2)Four times Australian driving champion Alfredo Costanzo will have his first race in Alan Hamilton’s ex-Neil Allen 1970 McLaren M10B at this weekend’s 27th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport.

Costanzo started later and ended his top-level career across the Tasman earlier than Smith. However in a career spanning 31 years he won the Australian Drivers’ Championship title a record-equalling four-times (from 1980-1983) and – amongst a number of other achievements – finished second (with Alan Grice) in the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst in 1979.

Like Smith, Costanzo’s career was at its peak in the transition between the big, booming stock-block 5-litre V8-powered Formula 5000s and the smaller, more nimble 2-litre 4-cylinder Formula Atlantic/Pacific single-seaters.

That was also the time that Australia and New Zealand went their separate ways, replacing the combined ‘Tasman’ Series with independent series on either side of the Tasman.

As well as competing in the same categories, Smith and Costanzo also raced similar cars. Both enjoyed considerable success in Lola T332s and Lola T430s.

In fact Smith made his F5000 category return in 2007 in HU1, the 1976 Lola T430 which Costanzo used to win the first of his four Australian Drivers Championship titles in 1980.

The McLaren M10B Costanzo is driving this weekend is equally storied, being only the second – 400-02 – M10B produced and having enjoyed a winning start to its life in Australia in the hands of local ace Neil Allen before being raced with further success by compatriot Kevin Bartlett.

Smith heads to Phillip Island as the man to beat in the ex Danny Ongais Lola T332 he owns with long-time crew chief Barry Miller.

Young Australian driver Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24) gave the Kiwis a run for their money last time they crossed the Tasman for rounds of the MSC series. But Smith didn’t make that trip and says that if Tweedie or anyone else thinks that he is an easy beat because of his age, they have another think coming.

Joking aside Smith not only continues to defy stereotypes about age and ageing, he also continues to raise the bar in terms of car preparation, pace and racecraft.

So what keeps Smith going?

“First of all, I’m too young to retire…” he starts, “and second of all, I just love racing. You wouldn’t do it for 58 consecutive seasons if you didn’t, would you?”

The F5000 races at this year’s ‘Classic’ are amongst the 60 events for a record 540 entries over the event’s three-day programme that commences with practice and qualifying on Friday morning and racing from 1.20pm that afternoon.

The Victorian Historic Racing Register is staging the 27th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport with continued support from Penrite, Shannons and CoolDrive and Repco.

For further information visit www.vhrr.com or call (03) 9877 2317.

For media information and publication-quality images, contact Michael Browning, michael@browning.com.au or 0418 324 328.

Bucket List with a capital ‘B’
Driving a F5000 around PI
by former F5000 McRae GM1 owner and motorsport publisher Chris Lambden
Phillip Island is one of the best, most daunting race tracks in the world before you even start – before you front up with 580bhp just behind your ears and the biggest set of rear slick tyres since Formula 1 was really good …
The combination of fast, sweeping, curves, and a couple of serious stops for tighter corners presents all the challenges. At just under the 8000rpm rev limit, it must be close to 300km/h as you lift for Turn 1, Doohan Corner. This is one of the ‘big balls’ corners on this track – when you get it somewhere near right, powering out, it’s a big thrill – get it wrong and there could be a heap of wrecked aluminium in the unforgiving barriers …
Turn 3, the Stoner kink is almost flat, before a heavy brake into Honda Hairpin. It’s out of here, and the next corner, Siberia, that the sheer acceleration force of a F5000 car is worth the price of admission. It’s ridiculously easy to smoke 15-inches-worth of rear rubber out of these corners, all of which costs valuable time, but hey, it feels goooood …
Past the Hay Shed, up to Lukey Heights is more of the same – the steering is barely ever straight – everything’s a balance between massive horsepower and the grip in those big tyres. And that engine is roaring away just 12 inches behind your head. This must be what F1 used to be like ….
If you can stop it for MG while dropping down to second gear, then you’ve done well. Through and out as smoothly as possible, sweeping around onto the main straight, Gardner Straight, and an opportunity for a brief – very brief – deep breath and relax before it starts all over again.
One of the most fabulous race cars ever dreamed up on one of the most fabulous race tracks in the world … no wonder the F5000s flock to The Island.

CL McRaesRare BMW M1 Procar to race at PI Classic

BMW-1-M1- s
• Ultra rare BMW M1 Procar makes first Victorian circuit appearance
• Large 100th Anniversary display by BMW Club
One of the world’s most desirable racing BMWs is heading to Phillip Island to help celebrate BMW’s 100th birthday at the 27th annual Classic Festival of Motorsport from March 11-13.
The Bowden Family’s newly-acquired 1979 BMW M1 Procar will join another 12 BMWs competing during the three day meeting – a record nine of them ex-JPS Team BMW Touring Cars.
There will also be further nine or so JPS road cars (another record) amongst more than 30 BMWs from early 2002 models to the latest M5s in a special Anniversary display by the BMW Club of Victoria.
The standout amongst the BMW drivers racing will be seven times Bathurst winner Jim Richards, who won the first two of his four Australian Touring Car titles in 1985 and 1987 at the wheel of BMW M cars.
Richards will face the starting lights five times over the weekend in the capacity grid Group C & A races driving an ex-Team JPS BMW 635 coupe now owned by New Zealand enthusiast Peter Sturgeon. The car has been painstakingly restored to the same Group C spec that Richards raced it originally in 1983 and 1984.
The track appearance of the former ‘Speed Star Wheels’ BMW M1 Procar in Chris Bowden’s hands is believed to be the first time one of BMW’s most famous Post War racing models has been on a Victorian circuit.
The sleek six-cylinder silver coupe’s rivals in the packed Group Q & R events for ‘big banger’ sports cars will include five McLaren sports cars – including two thundering big block Chev-engined Can-Am M8F models, each producing around 900HP – seven Lola sports cars and a V8-engined Elfin 360 Repco-Brabham.
The M1 is widely regarded as one of BMW’s finest motorsport creations.
The BMW M1 Procar one-make Championship of 1979 was the idea of BMW motorsport legend Jochen Neerpasch. The identical race-prepared M1s supported rounds of the FIA World Championship and pitted many of the world’s great drivers from F1, Sports and Touring cars against each other.
The 1979 BMW Procar championship was won by Niki Lauda, while in 1980 Brazilian Nelson Piquet took the prize, with Australia’s Allan Jones second.
BMW pulled the pin on the series for 1981, but by December 1980 the M1 was eligible to race for Group 4, which meant the cars were able to compete in the World Endurance Championship.
Chassis #1077 that Chris Bowden will race at Phillip Island was built in 1979 by F1 legend-to-be Ron Dennis, whose race workshop Project 4 later merged with F1 team McLaren.
The M1 spent most of the next five years racing in Japan, where in late 1981 it was converted to ‘Silhouette Group 5 spec, with wider, more aerodynamic and lighter bodywork. This made it a lot more competitive against the Porsches, Nissans, Mazda’s and others it raced against in the era.
In 1984 #1077 was retired and acquired by the team’s sponsor. It was still occasionally used in selected historic events, but mostly hibernated for the next 25 years
In 2014, Chris Bowden heard about the famous M1 racer while in Japan and with his father David undertook six or seven months of negotiation until they were finally able to finalise its purchase.
After arriving in Australia, the M1 was restored painstakingly to its factory race guise, where it is now eligible for many FIA Historic events in Australia and worldwide.
The car’s still-original 3498cc M88/1 fuel injected six-cylinder engine was rebuilt in Japan, with a recent dyno check confirming 480HP – as much as the M1 Procars did in their day. At 42 inches high, the M1’s wing is the car’s tallest part, otherwise it is the same height as a legendary Ford GT40.
Following its Phillip Island Classic appearance, Chris Bowden plans to take part in selected BMW 100th Anniversary events with the car in the USA.
The 27th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport is being staged by the Victorian Historic Racing Register with continued support from Penrite, Shannons and CoolDrive.
For further information visit www.vhrr.com or call (03) 9877 2317.
For media information and publication-quality images, contact Michael Browning, michael@browning.com.au or 0418 324 328.Record 540-plus entry for 2016 ‘Classic’

• Capacity fields for touring, sports and Formula Fords

• Patron Jim Richards to race ex-JPS Team BMW in 5 events

• Ex-Alan Jones Williams FW06 in first Australian race

• Up to 30 Formula 5000s competing

A record-matching entry of more than 540 Historic touring, sports and open wheeler racing cars spanning eight decades has been received for the 27th annual Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport.

Staged from March 11-13 on the spectacular Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit by Victorian Historic Racing Register, the event has attracted over-capacity fields for Touring Cars, Production Sports Cars and Historic Formula Ford open wheelers.

The record 58 races for (a record) 12 Historic categories will be held from early afternoon on Friday March 11, with the final event late on Sunday. Because of the huge entry, there will be no time for the circuit parades and demonstrations that have been a part of previous Phillip Island Classic FOM meetings.

Feature races will include a 10-lap event for Historic Touring Cars on Saturday afternoon and similar 10-lap sprints for ‘big banger’ sports cars and open wheelers on the Sunday afternoon.

“There will only be non-stop racing on Friday afternoon and 9-5 over the weekend,” said VHRR President Ian Tate.

Around 30 thundering V8-engined Formula 5000 racing cars are also expected to line up, while the Classic has attracted Formula 1 cars from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Meanwhile for Touring Car enthusiasts, this year’s event will have special meaning with Patron and four times Australian Champion Jim Richards racing an ex-JPS Team BMW in five separate capacity-grid Group C & A races.

To support the ‘100 Years of BMW’ celebration at Phillip Island, Richards will also bring his own ex-Team JPS M3 to the meeting – a car he drove in the early rounds of the 1987 ATCC on his way to win his second title. Meanwhile Shannons may also display the ex-Neville Crichton BMW 635 JPS Team car that Richards also owns, but never actually raced, in the period.

This year’s ‘Classic’ will also be a ‘must see’ for open wheeler enthusiasts, with two famous Formula 1 cars with unique Australian connections coming ‘home’ from the UK – thanks to their current enthusiastic UK owners, Andrew and Margaret Wareing.

From the 1960s comes the works 1.5 litre BRM P261-5 that was raced by Graham Hill, Ritchie Ginther and Jackie Stewart in Formula 1 from 1964.

Later, factory-fitted with a larger 2.0-litre V8 engine, the same car contested the 1965, 1966 and 1967 Tasman Championship in Australia and New Zealand with Stewart and Richard Attwood.

Driven by Graham Hill, the car’s best F1 result was second in the 1964 French Grand Prix, while in 1966 it scored five race victories in the 1966 Tasman Series, with Stewart taking four of its race wins to clinch the eight-

The Wareings are also bringing their famous Williams FW06 to Phillip Island – the first car produced by the combination of Frank Williams and Patrick Head for their Williams Grand Prix Engineering Formula One team.

Powered by a Cosworth DFV 3.0 litre V8 engine and driven by Australia’s Alan Jones, the FW06 competed as a lone Williams works entry in all 16 rounds of the 1978 FIA World Championship. It finished in the points three times, with Jones’ best result being second place in the US GP at Watkins Glen.

At the meeting, the BRM P261-5 will compete in Group M & O events for open wheelers from 1961-1970, where one of its main rivals will be another great F1 car of the 1960s – the 1968 2.5-litre Repco Brabham V8 of Victorian Peter Strauss.

Meanwhile, Wareing will also race the FW06/03 at Phillip Island in the Q & R events for racing cars built from 1970-1985. Here, its principal F1 rivals will be the 1971 March 741 to be raced by four times Australian Champion, John Bowe and the 1985 ex-works Lola 1.5 Turbo of Sydney’s Iain Ross.

The open wheeler programme at this year’s ‘Classic’ will also see a near- record number of Formula 5000 racing cars compete over the event’s three-day programme.

The 27th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport is being staged by the Victorian Historic Racing Register with continued support from Penrite, Shannons and CoolDrive and Repco.

For further information visit www.vhrr.com or call (03) 9877 2317.

For media information and publication-quality images, contact Michael Browning, michael@browning.com.au or 0418 324 328.

F1 comes to 2016 Phillip Island Classic FOM

• Famous ex-Graham Hill/Jackie Stewart F1 BRM

• Ex-Alan Jones Williams FW06 in first Australian race

• Up to 30 Formula 5000s competing

  • Fancy an out lap in Jim Richards’ GT4 Porsche at Phillip Island? Click here

Two famous Formula 1 cars with unique Australian connections will be coming ‘home’ from the UK for the 2016 Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport from March 11-13 – thanks to their current enthusiastic UK owners, Andrew and Margaret Wareing

Williams FW06sml Image courtesy Darren Teagles & Wikipedia

From the 1960s comes the works 1.5 litre BRM P261-5 that was raced by Graham Hill, Ritchie Ginther and Jackie Stewart in Formula 1 from 1964.

Later, factory-fitted with a larger 2.0-litre V8 engine, the same car contested the 1965, 1966 and 1967 Tasman Championship in Australia and New Zealand with Stewart and Richard Attwood.

Driven by Graham Hill, the car’s best F1 result was second in the 1964 French Grand Prix, while in 1966 it scored five race victories in the 1966 Tasman Series, with Stewart taking four of its race wins to clinch the eight-race Australian-New Zealand Championship.

BRM 265-1 Graham Hillsml

Following its F1 era, P261-5 was fitted with a 3.0-litre BRM V12 engine and driven in non-Championship races in 1968/69 by David Hobbs, Tony Dean and Charles Lucas.

After spending some years in a Museum in the UK, the BRM was returned to its original 1.5 litre GP spec to meet Historic Grand Prix Cars Association regulations before it was acquired 10 years ago by the Wareings, who have since raced it in HGPCA events, Historic Monaco and the Goodwood Revival.

The BRM has also been driven in recent years by Sir Jackie Stewart in demonstrations.

The Wareings are also bringing their famous Williams FW06 to Phillip Island – the first car produced by the combination of Frank Williams and Patrick Head for their Williams Grand Prix Engineering Formula One team.

Powered by a Cosworth DFV 3.0 litre V8 engine and driven by Australia’s Alan Jones, the FW06 competed as a lone Williams works entry in all 16 rounds of the 1978 FIA World Championship. It finished in the points three times, with Jones’ best result being second place in the US GP at Watkins Glen.

Chassis FW06/03 also saw service in the first four races of the 1979 season, with Jones finishing third place at Long Beach. However by now the car was being left behind by the ground effects cars of Lotus, Ligier, Tyrrell and others and it was replaced by the FW07 that Jones ultimately used to win the 1980 World Championship.

Following its F1 career, Williams sold FW06/03 in mid-1979 to a wealthy Italian industrialist, who used it for private track days before it was purchased by its current owners in 1992.

Since then the famous Williams has been driven by Alan Jones at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Wareings have lent it back to Williams GP for other displays and demonstrations.

Andrew Wareing (with Margaret’s permission!) will drive both the former F1 cars at this year’s Phillip Island Classic FOM.

At the meeting, the BRM P261-5 will compete in Group M & O events for open wheelers from 1961-1970, where one of its main rivals will be another great F1 car of the 1960s – the 1968 2.5-litre Repco Brabham V8 of Victorian Peter Strauss.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wareing will also race the FW06/03 at Phillip Island in the Q & R events for racing cars built from 1970-1985. Here, its principal F1 rivals will be the 1971 March 741 to be raced by four times Australian Champion, John Bowe and the 1985 ex-works Lola 1.5 Turbo of Sydney’s Iain Ross.

The open wheeler programme at this year’s ‘Classic’ will also see a near- record number of Formula 5000 racing cars compete over the event’s three-day programme, with 13 cars coming from New Zealand to take on 17 of Australia’s top 5.0 litre V8 open wheelers in the hands of their local drivers.

The 27th Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport is being staged by the Victorian Historic Racing Register with continued support from Penrite, Shannons and CoolDrive and Repco.

For further information visit www.vhrr.com or call (03) 9877 2317.

For media information and publication-quality images, contact Michael Browning, michael@browning.com.au or 0418 324 328.

Jim Richards on track for BMW birthday celebrations at 2016 Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport

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Jim Richards made an immediate impact on the Australian Touring Car scene when he arrived from New Zealand in late 1975 with his famous ‘Sidchrome Mustang’. (Image courtesy of Autopics.com.au

Australia’s most versatile and most decorated racing driver – seven times Bathurst and eight time Targa Tasmania winner, former NASCAR, GT and TCM champion Jim Richards – will be Patron on the 27th Phillip Island Festival of Motorsport from 11-13 March 2016.

The popular expatriate New Zealander, who has called Australia ‘home’ for more than 40 years, will mark the occasion in company with the Team JPS BMWs that brought him the first two of his four Australian Touring Car Championships in 1985 and 1987.

Significantly, Richards’ Patronage coincides with BMW’s 100th Birthday celebrations worldwide, which will kick off in Australia at the Phillip Island Classic with a major display of old and new road and racing models by the BMW Car Club of Victoria.

Richards will race an ex-Team JPS BMW 635 coupe now owned by New Zealand enthusiast Peter Sturgeon in the Group C & A races at the Phillip Island Classic. The BMW has been painstakingly restored to the same Group C spec that Richards raced it in 1983 and 1984.

Phillip-Island-Poster-2016-Jim-Richards

Richards will also bring his own ex-Team JPS BMW M3 to the meeting – a car he drove in the early rounds of the 1987 ATCC on his way to win his second title – while Shannons may also display the ex-Neville Crichton BMW 635 JPS Team car that Richards also owns, but never actually raced it in the period.

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Jim Richards regards his first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985 earned driving this Team JPS BMW 635 as being a turning point in his long and much-decorated racing career.(Image courtesy of Autopics.com.au)

“Those years racing the JPS BMWs with the late Frank Gardner are very special to me,” said Richards. “While I had already won Bathurst three times with Peter Brock, driving for Frank Gardner’s JPS Team from 1984-1987 was the turning point of my career,” said Richards.

“I was the lead driver of my own team and won two Australian Touring Car Championship.”

A number of other well-known racing BMWs are expected to join Richards on track at March’s Phillip Island Classic, including the 635 Coupe that he drove to win his 1985 title.

On his way to victory in this famous car he set a record of six straight ATCC round victories and also won Amaroo’s AMSCAR Touring Car Series, plus the 1985 Manufacturers’ and Endurance Series, making it one of Australia’s most successful racing cars.

Richards purchased the 635 from a subsequent owner in 1990, but passed up plans to restore it, believing the task to be too great. The BMW has since been painstakingly brought back to its full 1985 ATCC-winning spec after a major restoration by its current owner, Adrian Brady.

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As well as racing a former Team JPS BMW 635, Jim Richards also hopes to have his 1987 ATCC-winning Tram JPS BMW M3 on display at the 2016 Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport from 11-13 March 2016. (Image courtesy of Autopics.com.au)

The 2016 Phillip Island Classic meeting is shaping up to be one of the best on record, with more than 400 entries expected by the New Year – comfortably up on last year.

Significantly, around 30 of these are Touring Cars of the 1970s and 1980s in the combined Group C & A races on the programme that will include a feature 10-lap race on the Saturday of the meeting.

Another 30 or more cars are again expected to come to the ‘Classic from overseas, including from the USA, Britain, Europe and New Zealand.

They will include at least three Historic 1970s and 1980s F1 cars from the UK, plus a number of Formula 5000 racing cars from the UK and New Zealand.

As in previous years, the meeting is being staged by the Victorian Historic Racing Register with continued support from Penrite, Shannons and CoolDrive and Repco.

For further information visit www.vhrr.com or call (03) 9877 2317.

For media information and publication-quality images, contact Michael     Browning, michael@browning.com.au or 0418 324 328.

 

 

Admission Prices: 2016

Friday $30.00
Saturday $35.00
Sunday $45.00

3 day $95.00
Saturday/Sunday $70.00
Friday/Saturday $55.00

All tickets purchased at the gate get a free program

Pensioners will receive a discount of $5.00 off all entry tickets purchased

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Entry Package 2016 Phillip Island Classic Click here

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