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Factory race cars to headline massive 2016 Porsche Festival

5 August, 2015

Hampton Downs Motorsport Park’s annual New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing is set to be bigger and better in 2016, with this event celebrating our friends from Stuttgart: Porsche.

Following on from the successful 2014 Ferrari Festival and 2015 F5000 Festival, which both produced the largest domestic gatherings of Ferraris and F5000s respectively, the Porsche Festival has a lot to live up to. But with up to 1000 Porsche road cars and race cars expected to attend the dual-weekend event, it already looks like it’s going to be one of the marquee race meetings of 2016.

Photo: Porsche

Headlining the list of attendees will be a number of rare Porsche race cars from overseas, with the best of them to be flown to local shores directly from Porsche’s factory in Germany. While it’s yet to be revealed what the cars might be, it’s suspected that one could be the Porsche 919 Hybrid that Kiwi Earl Bamber helped steer to victory at this year’s 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Photo: Porsche

Bamber and his fellow Kiwi and Porsche factory teammate Brendon Hartley are also potential attendees, which would make this the second consecutive festival Hartley has attended, after he surprised some race fans by popping up at the F5000 Festival earlier in 2015.

Photo: Porsche

Organizers are also aiming to secure a number of Porsche racers that reside in Australia. Historic racing models like Porsche’s 956, 935, GT1, and 917 variants have never been seen in New Zealand before, and organizers are hopeful of securing their attendance.

And it won’t just be Porsches present either. Approximately 20 of the best F5000s in the country will return to battle for the F5000 World Series cup, as well as the Historic Muscle Car series, the Heritage Touring Cars, and many others — all of which will build up to a one-hour endurance race, a fitting inclusion considering Porsche’s endurance heritage.

The Porsche Festival is scheduled over two weekends in 2016: January 15–17 and January 22–24. Tickets are now available to be purchased from the Porsche Festival website website.


Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.