28 July 2021 | General

Governing bodies embracing Tasman Series return

Motorsport’s governing bodies on both sides of the Tasman have welcomed the return of the Tasman Series in 2021.

First staged in 1964, the Tasman Series became an iconic piece of the Antipodean summer for more than a decade as the best drivers in the world came to race on Australian and New Zealand circuits.

Multiple attempts have been made to reboot the series, the latest in 1999 and 2000 by Formula Holden when a pair of races each year were held exclusively in New Zealand with the winner awarded the Tasman Cup.

However, the return of the Tasman Series via Australia’s new Premier open wheel category, S5000, will see a new chapter written in the history books.

The series commences this November with seven races, four at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International event and a further three at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 in Surfers Paradise.

Chief executives from both Motorsport Australia and Motorsport New Zealand, the respective governing bodies in both countries, have welcomed the return of the iconic Tasman Series award and S5000s plans to expand it in the future.

The two parties jointly serve as custodians of the Tasman Cup trophy and as such each had to agree to the conditions surrounding its return this summer – which each did quickly.

“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 two nations,” Motorsport New Zealand CEO Elton Goonan said.

“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 two iconic events.” 

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst International will be aired live and free in Australia on the screens of the Seven network, with coverage via Sky Sport NZ.

The subsequent Gold Coast event will have coverage via Channel 7 and Fox Sports / Kayo in Australia, with Sky again covering the action across the ditch.

Goonan’s Australian counterpart, Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca, also welcomed the return of the Tasman Series title and trophy.

S5000 already represents Australia’s highest individual driving award, the Motorsport Australia Gold Star, presented to the champion of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship regular season.

“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.”

Several teams and drivers have already committed to the rebooted series, with announcements to come in subsequent weeks.