New Zealand’s motorsport history will be celebrated at the 2012 Festival of Motor Racing at Hampton Downs on January 20-22 and 27-29.
The theme of the festival in 2012 focuses heavily around BMW’s local and international motorsport history.
Visitors to the festival will see cars spanning decades of motor racing history take to the Hampton Downs circuit, including many from the formative years of the sport in New Zealand. The event will attract plenty of names from the past and present of motor racing, offering a rare chance to see world-famous names driving a wide range of cars.
There will be some legendary names from BMW motorsport and New Zealand motorsport in attendance. Kiwi legend Chris Amon will be on hand to mark his links to the German brand, while touring car legend Jim Richards is down to race, as are other BMW racers of the time. Additionally, drivers from the UK, USA, Canada, Monaco and Australia will again make the trip with their Formula 5000 machinery as they attempt to beat Kiwi racing icon Kenny Smith.
Visitors can expect to see a number of former BMW Motorsport drivers at the Festival. These drivers drove in the Nissan Mobil 500 at Wellington and Pukekohe in the 1980s and 1990s. Many also featured in the Benson and Hedges series and ANZ Touring car series in the 1980s, and the NZ Touring Car series of the 1980s and 1990s. Names so far include: Rodger Anderson, Paul Fahey, Steve Millen, Neville Crichton, Wayne Wilkinson, Kent Baigent, Neil Lowe, Graeme Crosby, Jim Richards, Tony Lawrence, Phil Myhre (Brunei), Jim Keogh (Australia), Ludwig Finauer (Australia), Ed Lamont, Graeme Cameron, Paul Radisich, John Sax, Brett Riley, Craig Baird, Keith Sharp and Bernie Gillon.
Static BMW displays will also be a feature of the event – with the BMW CSL ‘Batmobile’ taking the centre stage. An ex-works car once piloted by the likes of Amon and Hans Stuck and still owned by the BMW factory. It is just one of many valuable cars that members of the public will be able to get up close and personal with in an age where they and the drivers are normally tucked behind a security fence.
BMW NZ will also bring from the BMW Museum in Germany an E30 DTM and a race version of the very rare BMW M1 ‘ProCar’.