A maximum permitted grid of 37 Formula Junior and Formula Three cars will take the starter's flag over the two weekends of the 2013 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing event celebrating the life and career of former Formula Junior racer Denny Hulme.
The event will take place at the Hampton Downs race track on New Zealand's North Island over two weekends in 2013 - January 18-20 and January 25-27. The massive grids of Formula Junior cars will not be the only major draw card, however. Can-Am cars will be back in action and for the fourth year in succession, the event will play host to the world's biggest gathering of Formula 5000 cars. Iconic Historic Muscle Cars are also on the agenda.
Festival Chairman Jim Barclay has been inundated with more than 50 serious enquiries from Formula Junior racers and car owners in New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, the USA and Europe - with interest even coming in from Italy.
"If a racer from Italy does run in the event, it will be sweet irony for a class with its roots in the country," Barclay commented.
Marques confirmed so far for the two weekends of action-packed Formula Junior racing include UK-built chassis from Brabham, Cooper, Elva, Emeryson, Gemini, Lola, Lotus; Italian-built racers from Atuosud, Stanguelini, Taraschi and Volpini; Australian cars from Ausper, CWG, Donford, Elfin and Nota, the US-built Jocko Special and the NZ-built FMZ.
Formula Junior was an open wheel formula racing class first adopted in October 1958 by the CSI (International Sporting Commission, the part of the FIA that then regulated motorsports). The class was intended to provide an entry level class where drivers could use inexpensive mechanical components from ordinary automobiles.
The idea to form the new class came from Count Giovanni "Johnny" Lurani who saw the need for a 'first-steps' class for single-seater racing cars for younger drivers. Kiwi legend Hulme was not the only driver with a background in the class. Jim Clark, Peter Arundell, Trevor Taylor and John Surtees were also regulars.
The field will include the actual Formula Junior Brabham racer piloted by Hulme pictured and now owned by New South Wales driver Ed Holly.