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Gulf Oil www.gulfoil.co.nz - one of motorsport’s most famous brands - has announced it will provide title backing to the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing www.nzfmr.co.nz next year when the event celebrates one of New Zealand – and the brand’s most celebrated drivers – Denny Hulme.
The Denny Hulme themed event will be the fourth New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing and will take place over the two weekends of January 18-20 and 25-27 at the Hampton Downs race circuit.
Gulf’s iconic logo is – quite simply - synonymous with motor sport and the light blue and orange colours of the brand have adorned some of the sport’s most famous racing cars for decades – the Gulf Ford GT40s and the Gulf Le Mans Porsches for example and of course, the discreetly Gulf-branded orange McLaren Can Am cars that will be such a feature of the 2013 Gulf Denny Hulme festival weekends.
In recent years the brand has enjoyed a high profile in motorsport again, gracing Le Mans once more on a variety of Audi and Aston Martin machines.
A new player to the New Zealand lubricant market, Gulf is being distributed in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands by New Zealand farmer owned co-operative CRT. In June 2011, Gulf was launched in Auckland, fittingly enough at Hampton Downs. A series of racing events and road shows were then used to profile the brand – even attracting the attention of other world famous icons such as Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
Although the product range is new to this country, Gulf is hardly a new name to New Zealand motor racing and has a heritage that goes back to the 1960s. Today, Gulf is proud to support the Bruce McLaren Trust.
The title sponsorship of the event will also include specific naming of the Can Am revival races, of which six will be run over the two weekends of the event to celebrate one of the classes that Denny Hulme – a Gulf-backed driver himself – raced and won in. Hulme was Can-Am champion twice in 1968 and in 1970 and runner up in 1967, 1969 and 1971 while racing for driver and constructor Bruce McLaren.
Many of the big V8-powered Can Am sports cars from the heyday of the championship still run in historic racing events throughout the world and festival organisers hope up to 20 of the Can- Am racers will compete on January 18-20 and January 25-27 for the Denny Hulme Trophy - a unique cup that will be presented by the late 1967 Formula 1 World Champion's wife Greeta Hulme to the winner of the six race championship.
Gulf will have a presence on all competing cars at the event as well as on track signage and will host both of the event’s celebratory BBQ events that take place on each of the Saturdays. Racers and spectators will also be able to check out – and buy – anything from the brands latest range of products. The company will also help promote the Festival in the build-up to the event.
The Can-Am cars will not be the only historic V8 racing cars in action at the Gulf Denny Hulme Festival. The even has played host over the past three years to the world's biggest gathering of Formula 5000 cars and these will race again in the 2013 event as will a big field of Australian, New Zealand and US V8-engined Historic Muscle Cars, Group A cars and Formula Juniors.
F1 on the bill for Denny Hulme Festival
The 2013 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing Celebrating Denny Hulme is shaping up nicely with 10 classes running each of the two weekends of January 18-20 and 25-27 and big fields expected in all classes. The back-to-back weekends that pay tribute to the late superstar will even include a run by his iconic Yardley F1 McLaren M23.
As well as the headline Can-Am revival and Formula 5000 machinery, other race classes over the back-to-back weekends will include Tasman cars, Pre ’78 Sports & GTs, BMW Open Class (1st weekend) and BMW E30s (2nd weekend), Formula Junior and Formula 3, Historic Muscle Cars and Pre 78 Saloons & GTs under 3000cc, Pre-85 Open Saloons (1st weekend), Historic Formula Ford, Classic Trials (2nd weekend).
"There's no question the 2013 Festival is shaping up to be a great event and the interest in being part of a specific event celebrating Denny's life and career is a big draw card for enthusiasts and car owners everywhere," explained Festival Chairman Jim Barclay. “We have international interest and it could easily have the biggest entry of any of the festivals we have run so far.”
In addition to the huge and varied fields of racers, there will be a host of ex-Hulme cars on and off track to remind people about the Kiwi ace's career.
Amongst his road cars and bikes will be his MG TF, his 1960 Austin Mini 850, 1965 Ford Zodiac, Range Rover, trail bikes and the famous Can-Am boat.
Racing cars driven by the legend that will be present both on and off the track will include his 1960 Cooper T52 BMC FJ, the 1962 Brabham BT2 FJ, the 1963 Brabham BT6, the 1964 Brabham BT4 Climax, the 1965 Brabham BT16 Cosworth F2, the 1968 McLaren M8A Can-Am (Bruce McLaren Trust), the 1973 McLaren M23 F1 Cosworth pictured, a 1979 VW Golf Ti, the 1986 Jaguar XJS V12 Group A replica, a 1982 Commodore SS, his 1986 JPS BMW 325i and of course, the 1991 B&H BMW M3 Group A.
Adding to the festival atmosphere off the track will be the ever-popular Red Checkers air display team, a huge show and shine event supported by industry leaders Meguiars, display areas for invited car clubs and a hoped for appearance by several spectacular War Birds.
Media and Communications Manager
NZ Festival of Motor Racing
Ph 0210 2711926
Mighty Can-Am cars set to honour Kiwi great Denny Hulme
Picture shows: From left, Barry Kirk-Burnannd and his orange 1969 McLaren M12 7800cc, with Hampton Downs’ Tony Roberts and Paul Halford with his silver 1965 McLaren M1A/B 5300cc.
The golden era of one of motor racing's most iconic classes - the mighty US-based Can-Am series of the sixties and seventies - is set to be revived in the home country of one of the category's biggest stars.
The New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Denny Hulme will take place at the challenging Hampton Downs circuit over two weekends in January in 2013. Hulme was Can-Am champion twice in 1968 and in 1970 and runner up in 1967, 1969 and 1971 while racing for driver and constructor Bruce McLaren.
Many of the big V8-powered sports cars from the heyday of the championship still run in historic racing events throughout the world and festival organisers hope up to 20 of the Can- Am racers and other sports racing cars will bring their priceless machinery to race on January 18-20 and January 25-27 for the Denny Hulme Trophy - a unique cup that will be presented by the late 1967 Formula 1 World Champion's wife Greeta Hulme to the winner of the six race championship.
The Can-Am cars will not be the only historic V8 racing cars in action. The New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing has played host over the past three years to the world's biggest gathering of Formula 5000 cars and these will race again in the 2013 event as will a big field of Australian, New Zealand and US V8-engined Historic Muscle Cars.
On-track, the Can-Am series in 1966 was initially dominated by Lola, followed by a period from 1967-71 that became known as the 'Bruce and Denny Show' when the works McLaren team dominating until the Porsche 917 turbo was perfected and became almost unbeatable. Other manufacturers who raced in Can-Am included Shadow, Chaparral, BRM, March and Matich as well as household names Ferrari and Ford. But it was the list of drivers that really read like a Who's Who of motor racing at the time.
As well as Kiwis Hulme, McLaren, Chris Amon, Howden Ganley and Graeme Lawrence, Can-Am drivers included Mario Andretti, Jack Brabham, Mark Donohue, Vic Elford, George Follmer, Peter Gethin, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Phil Hill, David Hobbs, Jacky Ickx, Parnelli Jones, Jackie Oliver, Sam Posey, Brian Redman, Peter Revson, Pedro Rodríguez, Swede Savage, Jody Scheckter, Jo Siffert, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees. Hollywood movie legend Paul Newman was another to grace the tracks in the mighty machines.
"At the peak of the series, Can-Am machines were the fastest racing cars in the world, quicker even than Formula One and highly innovative with a rule book that gave a virtual clean sheet of paper to the racing car designers of the time. Spectacular is really the only word that describes the cars," said Festival of Motor Racing organiser Jim Barclay.
"Denny was one of Can-Am's biggest names and the Denny Hulme Trophy to be presented by Greeta and her family will give every race fan in New Zealand, both old and young, the chance to go back in time and witness one of the sport's greatest ever classes."
Early bird tickets will be available
Although no tickets are yet on sale, 'Early Bird' tickets will be available, but only for a short time, for the two biggest weekends in historic motorsport in New Zealand. If you are keen to buy Early Bird tickets, register on the Homepage of this website to recive the Festival Newsletters and you will be advsied when tickets go on sale.
When the green lights prompt the first cars onto track for the 2013 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing at Hampton Downs on January 18-20 and 25-27 the glories of the country’s motorsport past will be celebrated and re-visited in style with the theme of the Festival in 2013 being to celebrate New Zealand's Denny Hulme.
Visitors to the festival can expect to see cars spanning decades of worldwide motor racing history take to the challenging Hampton Downs circuit, including many machines that featured heavily in the formative years of the sport in New Zealand. Aside from the machines, the event attracts plenty of names from the past and present of motor racing, offering a rare chance to see drivers in a wide range of cars.
As is the case each year with the Festival it is the cars, but rarely the drivers, that are the stars. Once again there will be some legendary names in attendance. Kiwi legend Chris Amon will be on hand once again, Howden Ganley and Brett Riley will no doubt be seen demonstrating a Can-Am or F1 car apiece, while touring car legend Jim Richards is down to race and Paul Radisich may be enticed to race as well. As with the Festival in 2012, we hope to see some of the crop of young guns back led by Greg Murphy and joined by Andy Booth and others. Additionally, many international drivers will be there including those from the Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Monaco, Singapore, UK and USA. Some of these will again make the trip with their fabulous Formula 5000 machinery as they attempt to beat seventy-something Kiwi racing icon Kenny Smith.
Pretty much priceless, would be an apt term to the collective cost of the cars at the Festival - dozens and dozens of incredibly valuable cars that members of the public will be able to get up close and personal with – a key cultural aspect of the Festival in a day and age when public accessibility to drivers and cars is usually blocked by a fence and one of the significant reasons why the public have flocked to the event in the first two years.
Already there is indication that the following Denny Hulme cars will be there - Denny's first race car a MGTF, Cooper T52 FJ, Brabham BT6 FJ, Brabham BT4 Climax, Can-Am cars that Denny drove -1968 McLaren M8A and 1969 M8B plus Can-Ams like those that Denny drove, 1973 McLaren M23 F1, 1979 VW Golf ex Moss/Hulme, 1985 TWR Bastos Rover Vitesse SD1 Group A, B & H BMW M3 Group A and other Group A cars.
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Media and Communications Manager
NZ Festival of Motor Racing
Ph 0210 2711926