Gold Star champions commit to Tasman Series, confirm overseas intent

| Photographer Credit: Jack Martin Photography

Reigning Australian Drivers’ Champions Team BRM have confirmed plans to run a multiple-car team in the S5000 Tasman Series this November and December.

The Adelaide-based outfit is also looking internationally when it comes to it’s driving squad, confirming that the announcement of the Tasman Series has already drawn interest from overseas drivers.

BRM finished 1-2 in the inaugural S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship contested earlier this year, Joey Mawson leading home Thomas Randle in an emphatic performance from one of Australia’s most successful ‘wings and slicks’ teams.

Kiwi Kaleb Ngatoa (main picture), who completed three of the four rounds, was also a race winner throughout the four-round season, the squad claiming their seventh Gold Star to equal the all-time record.

While yet to have drivers totally locked away, Team BRM chief Mark Rundle confirmed plans were well advanced to field a mixture of both new and returning drivers for the seven race, two round contest this year.

“I’m very confident with where we sit and the level of early interest around the Tasman Series,” Rundle said.

“FORM700 and ALABAR, who supported two cars throughout the Gold Star championship his year, are back on board and their support means we are in a really good place to pick up where we left off in May.

“We’re a long way down the road with Joey (Mawson) and continuing what we started during the Gold Star earlier this year; it’s just a matter of pinning down the details and getting him locked in, which is really exciting.

“He did such an awesome job and even though there is a long gap between the final Gold Star round and the Bathurst event, we all want to continue that momentum and keep on pushing.

Kaleb Ngatoa at Sandown Raceway

“Kaleb is keen to return and we’d obviously love to have an Aussie and a Kiwi in the team both trying to win the Tasman Cup. He’s a massive talent and while there are still some things that need to fall into place, including making sure the Kiwi border is open, given time hopefully that will sort itself out.

“There’s also some really interesting prospects in place for the third car which would add a lot to the grid, so we’re working very hard on getting that seat filled.”

Team BRM has a long history of running international drivers in Australia – four of their Gold Star titles were claimed by English drivers – and Rundle says he is confident that could continue via the Tasman Series moving forward.

“There is a lot of interest from overseas in racing these cars at Bathurst and the Gold Coast, in particular. People know both circuits around the world because of their heritage and their profile,” he said.

“With two events, the official test day and other testing opportunities as well it’s a lot of seat time in not a massive amount of days so there are benefits involved for those drivers coming down to race, so much so that some will consider a two-week quarantine very worthwhile.

“In the long-term running the Tasman Series over summer is absolutely the way to go, but there is a good shot at getting some international talent here this year, even in the current environment.”

Despite having won seven Australian Drivers’ Championships, BRM are yet to challenge for the Tasman Cup; having been competing in Formula 3 racing while Formula Holden staged a pair of New Zealand-based series’ in the late 1990s the last time the historic trophy was awarded.

“As a team we’re enthusiastic about the concept, both this year and looking towards the future,” Rundle said.

“We’ve been in open wheel racing for three decades, but the Tasman Cup is a trophy that we have not yet had the opportunity to fight for – as a team we’re very keen to try and win it and having one of our drivers lift that trophy would be a pretty big moment in our history.”

Working full time in the motorsport industry since 2004, Richard has established himself within the group of Australia’s core motorsport broadcasters, covering the support card at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix for Channel 10, the Bathurst 12 Hour for Channel 7 and RadioLeMans plus Porsche Carrera Cup & Touring Car Masters for FOX Sports’ Supercars coverage. Works a PR bloke for several teams and categories, is an amateur motorsport photographer and owns five cars, most of them Holdens, of varying vintage and state of disrepair.

http://www.theracetorque.com/

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