UK v NZ in F5000 face-off

British F5000 drivers are all set to take on the Kiwis on their home turf with Revival Series races

Seven Formula 5000 cars from Britain are currently en route to New Zealand to compete in the NZ F5000 Revival Series in January and February.

Masterminded by Frank Lyons, the trip will take in races at Pukekohe (Auckland) and Ruapuna (Christchurch) as the UK drivers join around 15 locally-based cars.

The interchange between the two continents follows the successful trip to England in the summer, when nine Kiwi racers joined the Derek Bell Trophy grids at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

Lyons has even bigger plans for the class and is working with car owners in Australia to try and get a support race at the 2007 Australian GP. “There are F5000s in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. I’m quietly confident about the Grand Prix race,” said Lyons. “We just need to demonstrate that we can get large grids of these cars.”

In the meantime, he has shipped his ex-Tony Trimmer Lola T332 and his recently acquired Eagle FA74 to New Zealand for himself and wife Judy to drive. Three cars from Simon Hadfield’s stable are due to make the trip, including his ex-Peter Gethin Chevron B37, the Trojan T101 of Michael Schryver and a Lola T300 for MotorSport diarist Marcus Pye. Also travelling is the Lotus 70 of Peter Denty and the ex-Nick Crossley March 73A of Peter Dunn.

“We’re out there for about three weeks and we’re planning to do this bi-annually,” said Lyons. He also expects the NZ drivers to return to the UK in ’07: “They had a great time here and they’re really looking forward to us going over there.”