Article Search


I'll have an F5000 for Melbourne


Great news from last month, with the announcement that Formula 5000s will be included in the support races at next years Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

Looking back over my career, these big 5.0-litre V8-engined wings and slicks monsters really did provide the most exciting and entertaining racing I’ve ever been involved in.

It’s fantastic that they will be able to put on a show in front of the huge F1 AGP crowds. I’ve missed being part of the F5000 revival series held over the past few years, and having the opportunity to drive one again at Ruapuna in February with the help from Exide Batteries certainly brought back the memories.

I’m currently on the lookout for a suitable car to get back in amongst it, and I’ll definitely be on the grid at Albert Park in early March next year.

I can’t wait to go up against the top guys from England and Australia. I’m also keen to get a couple of young drivers into F5000 cars for this event, as it would be great for them to experience a piece of motorsport history, as well as seeing the young chargers up against the old masters.

On the subject of young Kiwi drivers, unfortunately several of them have had to cut short their American campaigns for various reasons including lack of funds. This is sad, as it’s not a reflection on their ability or the level of competition in New Zealand. It’s just a lot more expensive to race up there than it is here. NZ motorsport doesn’t benefit from government funding like other sports, so it’s up to local businesses and supporters to come up with the money. If there’s anyone out there who can help, please get in touch!

The on-off drama of an A1GP round at Taupo next year has been interesting. It would be great to see an international single-seater series back on home soil, but it would be a huge mistake for the date to clash with the Tier 1 round of the NZ championships at Timaru, as is being proposed. Hopefully they can sort it out with Motorsport NZ, and we’ll have an A1 round, probably more realistically in 2008, where we can showcase the best of NZ motorsport to the rest of the world.

Enjoy your motorsport and I’ll catch you next month.

Ken Smith 

Auto Trader New Zealand