After almost four decades, the famous Tasman Series will again be awarded this year.
Taking place at the end of November and start of December, the 2021 edition of the series will feature seven races and will be contested in S5000 cars over two consecutive national race meetings - the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International and the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.
While the trophy was briefly brought back in the late 1990s, the series was mainly run between 1964 and 1975 and like the original competition, drivers will be fighting it out for the Tasman Cup - an award iconic to Australian and New Zealand motorsport.
In addition to the Tasman Cup, there is plenty of prize money on offer to the winners and key placegetters, with further details to be released in the coming months.
Outside of the two back-to-back rounds, the schedule for the series will also include multiple test days to help drivers get seat time in the Garry Rogers Motorsport prepared cars.
With S5000 also holding Motorsport Australia Gold Star status through the regular season’s Australian Drivers Championship, S5000 Category Manager Liam Curkpatrick was thrilled with what this would do for motorsport.
“S5000 was established as a category that could at the same time be the pinnacle of open wheel racing in this region, as well as being a place where younger drivers can cut their teeth on their way up through the ranks,” Curkpatrick said.
“The S5000 version of a Tasman Series will be an incredible showcase for the category, the cars, the teams and the drivers as they tackle two high-profile events and great race tracks.
“The long-term potential for this is key for S5000 moving forward, with the ambition that this becomes a destination for drivers from around the world each summer.
“The prizes, circuits and opportunity on offer this Summer should make this an extremely appealing series for drivers from Australia, New Zealand and even potentially further abroad this year.”
Making the series even more prestigious is the backing from the governing bodies of both nations.
During the current climate, this year’s two-round competition will run solely in Australia, however it will soon expand to more rounds in the future and will also include circuits across the Tasman sea.
Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca was proud to back the series.
“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.”
Arocca’s New Zealand counterpart Elton Goonan echoed his comments on what the series would do for motorsport fans.
“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,” the MotorSport New Zealand CEO added.
"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 with 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.”
As the series came about in response to the cancellation of the 2021 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Australian Racing Group CEO Matt Braid was pleased they were able to re-establish the iconic series.
“When the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled it forced us into looking into different ways to stage a prestigious S5000 competition that included the Bathurst International and Gold Coast events,” Braid said.
“With growing New Zealand interest in S5000 and two high-profile events that serve as a launching pad, bringing back the Tasman Series title was a no-brainer.
“This announcement gives S5000 two distinct opportunities to grow, via the Tasman Series over summer and the Australian Drivers’ Championship across a regular calendar season.”
Both rounds will include live TV coverage with Australians able to tune in via the Seven Network and Kiwi fans through Sky Sport New Zealand.
2021 TASMAN SERIES CALENDAR
Official test #1
Official test #2
24 November: Sydney Motorsport Park, Wednesday, November 24th (6:30-10:30pm)
26-28 November: Supercheap Auto Bathurst International - four races
3-5 December: Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, Surfers Paradise - three races
*Teams to co-ordinate test day prior to pre-event official test. Cost of this test covered in series vehicle lease package