Tasman Cup Championship memories. I was there!
Few people are really qualified to recall all the cars, drivers, mechanics, sponsors and events over the variation of the Tasman racing formats.
After all, it is now fifty years since the first pages of the Tasman Series story were beginning to be written.
Even fewer now have survived the ravages of time to recall moments of brilliance by drivers and those who provided cars that were often overpowered and underdeveloped.
The stories of these men and women involved through the increasingly rare photographs of these terrific times needs telling.
In 1964 the culmination of five years work in Australia by Geoff Sykes came to fruition.
The Tasman Series came to Australia at Warwick Farm and other circuits.
Following on from creating Warwick Farm within the environs of the Australian Jockey Club's horse racing venue over the previous years, Sykes who already had the creation of a successful Aintree circuit under his belt, joined with Ron Frost in New Zealand to create this truly International Series.
It produced probably the best single seater races seen in the Southern Hemisphere, and reached the standards of the contemporary Formula 1 racing season.
The participation of current Formula 1 drivers and cars were enticed for what seemed to be a “summer holiday” which developed into eight weekends of serious competition by the best drivers of the time – challenged by the most talented local drivers from Australia and New Zealand.
Worldwide interest was ignited by the Tasman Series with a vast fan base following it in the United States, South Africa Europe and the United Kingdom.
In Australia as in New Zealand, each race drew thousands of spectators through the promoter's gates and launched careers of some drivers and confirmed the talents of others.
World Champions competed in the early years.
They used current model Grand Prix cars with engines up to 2.5 litres.
A ready supply of Coventry Climax engines were available initially and these were replaced by reduced capacity F1 engines until the Tasman Formula underwent change to F5000 specifications and subsequently Formula Pacific.
Such lasting interest was generated that we have seen some iconic cars reach auction prices of more than a million dollars.
Recording for history much of the colour, spectacle, atmosphere, memories and previously unpublished photographs has become a labour of love to exhibit the appeal of single seater racing throughout the Tasman Series.
I was there to savour the spectacle. Perhaps this site can convey some of that! Rod Mackenzie
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1969 Tasman photographs
More photos to come each month!
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TASMAN CUP SERIES PHOTOGRAPHS
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Some random shots of Jim Clark in the 1968 Tasman Series.
All photos copyright rodmackenziecollection.com
Graeme Lawrence (NZ) F5000 Lola .