Historic Cup up for grabs at Hampton Downs
This year’s focus of the New Zealand Motor Cup is on that of re-igniting New Zealand’s attention to the ‘rising stars of New Zealand Motorsport’.
Parent organisation and Cup organisers The New Zealand International Grand Prix feel that it is time to solidify the Cup as a pertinent sporting accomplishment in New Zealand recognised by all Kiwi’s, not just those familiar with Motorsport.
Originally competed for annually in a 50 mile event known as the Australasian Beach Championship (current records date back to 1921), in 1953 it was donated to the New Zealand International Grand Prix and turned into a circuit title which would be competed for solely in Auckland. In 2006 the Cup was re-directed in recognition of the prestigious opportunities single-seater racing was being given to young New Zealand drivers by the Toyota Racing Series (TRS), and has been made an award as part of the international series to date.
New Zealand International Grand Prix Event Manager Deborah Day stated “Although the Cup is steeped in fame to those who know motor racing, it’s little known by the general public that this is where so many of New Zealand’s infamous sporting names have spawned from, and the New Zealand Motor Cup has really been the conduit for acknowledging the making of that talent.”
“You just have to look at the names on the Cup to see how many talented sportspeople New Zealand Motorsport has produced – we’re up there with many other high profile sports where Kiwi’s have gone on to do great things with long and successful sporting careers. Winners of the New Zealand Motor Cup are people that go on to represent their country on a world stage, this is where those dreams start for many.”
Although some of New Zealand’s greatest names in Motorsport – the likes of Mitch Evans, Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren, Shane Van Gisbergen, Greg Murphy, Paul Radisich and Craig Baird are present on the Cup international greats such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Jack Brabham are also present on the long serving trophy.
Of course the stars of the show this weekend are those national and international drivers competing in the fourth round of the 2014 Toyota Racing Series, however beneath that a field of younger drivers are idolising those in contention for the Cup.
A full field of single-seater drivers competing in the Formula Ford and Formula First Championships will take to the grid this weekend – all nationally based drivers who have their sights set on bigger things in International levels of Motorsport.
Formula First driver Faine Kahia (18) is one to watch in the introductory series; self proclaimed as wanting to be the first Maori to Win Bathurst - Kahia obviously has big goals in sight post single-seater racing in New Zealand.
On top of this Palmerston North Local Rowan Shepard will be aiming for glory in the Formula First Championship, mirroring his peers closely after claiming top spot in 2013/2013 and currently sitting on top of championship points again in the current 2014 season.
Current competitor and surprise Round Two winner of the 2014 Toyota Race Series James Munro of Invercargill was the 2013 Formula Ford Champion, proving that experience in the single-seater class pre-TRS gave him the experience required to support his rookie season against internationals in 2014.
Munro will be competing for the New Zealand Motor Cup alongside fellow Kiwi drivers Michael Scott, Damon and Brendon Leitch (bothers) with similar aspirations.
Given the wild card success of Munro to date in the TRS series (which has one more round following Hampton Downs when a championship winner is announced) there has been no shortage of media attention and interest from far afield.
With talent matching to the level of the more experienced and expectant international drivers in the TRS field, all eyes will be on the Kiwi’s to retain the New Zealand Motor Cup and secure another local name in the sporting history books for New Zealand.
Support classes to the New Zealand Motor Cup will also be full fields of the 2014 TR86 Series, NZGT, GT1 and GT2 Championships, the NZ Six and Saloon Car Championship the 2014 Super Mini Challenge combined with NZ Star Touring Car Championship, and Production GT class.
Tickets for this weekend’s New Zealand Motor Cup being held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park are on sale.
For more information on the event.