Iconic Tasman Series to return this summer with S5000
THE iconic Tasman Series will return in 2021 as a new seven-race series contested by S5000 this Summer.
Commencing at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International at Mount Panorama on 26-28 November, the series will then shift to the streets of Surfers Paradise and the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 on 3-5 December.
The winner will claim the Tasman Cup, a globally recognised prize first awarded in 1964 and one of the most iconic and renowned trophies in Australian and New Zealand Motorsport.
The schedule will also include pre-season test days included prior to the back-to-back events.
A pre-event test conducted by individual teams will be followed by an exclusive twilight test session at Sydney Motorsport Park, to be staged on the Wednesday evening prior to the Bathurst event.
The return of the iconic Tasman Series and awarding of the Tasman Cup has the backing of both Motorsport Australia and Motorsport New Zealand.
The announcement of the Tasman Series replaces the previously announced Triple Crown, following the cancellation of the 2021 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
While current conditions restrict the series to the two high profile Australian events this year, S5000 category managers Australian Racing Group plan to expand the series to include New Zealand circuits in the future.
An expanded Tasman series will be the future of S5000 competition over summer, with the Australian Drivers’ Championship to remain a ‘regular season’ showpiece for the category moving forward.
As such, the Bathurst International will be the next time S5000 cars hit the track to race this year.
A substantial prize money fund, with full details to be announced, will be on offer to the series winner and key placegetters.
Extremely competitive vehicle lease arrangements for the two tests and two race events have been put in place by S5000 vehicle constructor, Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Both rounds will include live TV coverage, including free-to-air coverage of the Bathurst International event on Channel 7 in Australia.
Sky Sport New Zealand will also broadcast both rounds while the Bathurst International will include live streaming around the world.
Held between 1964 and 1975, the Tasman Series was an iconic part of the Australian and New Zealand racing landscape as a host of global motorsport heroes travelled down under to take on the best from the local scene.
Winners included Formula 1 legends Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon and Jim Clark and local Gold Star heroes like Graham McRae and Warwick Brown.
The final Tasman Series round was held at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne on 23 February 1975 and was won by John Goss.
The Tasman Cup trophy was returned briefly for a two-year period commencing in 1999, a pair of series held exclusively in New Zealand contested by Formula Holden competitors.
2021 TASMAN SERIES CALENDAR
TEAMS TEST: Teams to coordinate test day prior to pre-event official test. Cost of this test covered in series vehicle lease package).
TASMAN SERIES TWILIGHT TEST: Sydney Motorsport Park, Wednesday, November 24th (6:30-10:30pm)
TASMAN SERIES ROUND 1 (4 Races):
Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, Mount Panorama, Bathurst (November 26-28)
TASMAN SERIES ROUND 2 (3 Races):
Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, Surfers Paradise (December 3-5)
MATT BRAID, Australian Racing Group CEO
“When the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled it forced us into looking into different ways to stage a prestigious S5000 competition that included the Bathurst International and Gold Coast events,” Braid said.
“With growing New Zealand interest in S5000 and two high-profile events that serve as a launching pad, bringing back the Tasman Series title was a no-brainer.
“Introducing an international component to S5000 has always been in the plan, but the changing landscape this year has encouraged us to do something different and innovate now and it comes with significant investment from ARG and buy-in from our existing teams and competitors.
“The awarding of the Tasman Cup for the first time in two decades comes with the full blessing of Motorsport Australia and Motorsport New Zealand and it is absolutely our plan to build this into a full Trans-Tasman series for S5000 in the future.
“This announcement gives S5000 two distinct opportunities to grow, via the Tasman Series over summer and the Australian Drivers’ Championship across a regular calendar season.”
LIAM CURKPATRICK, S5000 Category Manager
“S5000 was established as a category that could at the same time be the pinnacle of open wheel racing in this region, as well as being a place where younger drivers can cut their teeth on their way up through the ranks,” Curkpatrick said.
“The S5000 version of a Tasman Series will be an incredible showcase for the category, the cars, the teams and the drivers as they tackle two high-profile events and great race tracks.
“The long-term potential for this is key for S5000 moving forward, with the ambition that this becomes a destination for drivers from around the world each summer.
“The prizes, circuits and opportunity on offer this Summer should make this an extremely appealing series for drivers from Australia, New Zealand and even potentially further abroad this year.”
EUGENE AROCCA, Motorsport Australia CEO
“Motorsport Australia is delighted to throw its support behind the re-introduction of the Tasman Series at Bathurst and on the Gold Coast,” Arocca said.
“S5000 has already proven to be a real fan favourite, and a category that is certainly turning heads as it grows in stature. It is a worthy recipient of the Motorsport Australia Gold Star and this rebooted Tasman Series is a terrific addition to the calendar.
“There are so many motorsport legends who have made a name for themselves in previous Tasman Series from years ago. We have no doubt there are plenty more talented individuals ready to etch their own name in Australian motorsport history in the months ahead.
“Motorsport Australia looks forward to the first ever Tasman Cup being awarded later this year and we wish all competitors and teams the very best as they look to create more open-wheel history to round out 2021.”
ELTON GOONAN, Motorsport New Zealand CEO
“It’s great to see the revival of such an iconic series after 20 years and MotorSport New Zealand fully supports the return of a series that has so much history between our 2 nations.
“With some many Kiwi names adoring this trophy already, it’s great to enable the stars of today from NZ and Australia to do battle is these new cars which have created such a stir with the fans as they battle to join such a prestigious list.
“MotorSport New Zealand look forward to seeing the series taking to the track and look forward to hosting some rounds in New Zealand in the future. However the broadcast package will allow the Kiwi fans to support the New Zealand drivers as they contest the series at 2 iconic events.”