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New Zealand Formula Pacific 1983

Of the locals, Dave McMillan was returning from a very successful season in North America, where he had won the main Formula Atlantic championship, confirming the promise he had shown two seasons earlier in Formula Super Vee. Reigning champion David Oxton and veteran Kenny Smith also returned. Alan Berg and Mike Rosen were the main International competitors in 1983, the 21-year-old Canadian Berg having raced a March 82A for Doug Shierson Racing in North America in 1982. Rosen had tried his hand at several categories, including FSV and Atlantic with Lane Sports.

Berg won both races on the opening weekend at Bay Park, but with Rosen recording fastest lap in both heats. The locals were on top for the New Zealand GP at Pukekohe a week later, where McMillan and Oxton sharing the heats, Oxton taking the GP title on aggregate. The Manfeild circuit appeared to suit the 1983 Ralts better, as Californian Norm Hunter took pole position and won the opening heat, but he retired from the second heat allowing the similar car of Australian former saloon car ace Charlie O'Brien to take the heat and the overall win. Each of these two weekends counted as single events in the FIA's new Formula Mondial FIA World Cup Series, but the heats counted as separate races for the purposes of the New Zealand International Formula Pacific series. The final pair of races for the New Zealand title was at Wigram, where Hunter was again fastest qualifier and led until he crashed on the fifth lap. A following Oxton spun to avoid Hunter's car, letting Berg through to win the heat. Oxton's eventual retirement put Berg into a strong lead in the championship, and he only needed to finish in the leading pack in Heat 2 to take the title. Oxton fought through to win the second heat but Berg's distant third place clinched the title in a highly competitive season.

The races

02 Jan 1983 > Baypark Raceway

08 Jan 1983 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

16 Jan 1983 > Manfeild

23 Jan 1983 > Lady Wigram Trophy

1983 Just Juice International Formula Pacific Championship table

1Allen BergRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD58 pts2 wins
2David OxtonRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD45 pts1 win
3Ken SmithRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD33 pts 
4Charlie O'BrienRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD30 pts1 win
5Mike RosenRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD29 pts 
6Dave McMillanRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD28 pts 
7Christian DannerRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD23 pts 
8Paul RadisichRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD21 pts 
9=Graham WatsonRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD14 pts 
9=Norm HunterRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD14 pts 
9=Grant CampbellRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD14 pts 

Previous: the 1982 season

The Just Juice sponsorship was provided by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board.

FIA Formula Mondial South Pacific Region

After the two New Zealand rounds, a third round was held at Calder Park on 6 February, but the race scheduled for Adelaide a week later was cancelled, bringing the Region series to an abrupt end. David Oxton had won the first round but was not registered for the championship, so Charlie O'Brien led from McMillan and Berg going into the Calder race. Reigning Australian champion Alfredo Costanzo took pole position in Alan Hamilton's Tiga FA81 but a head gasket blew after ten laps, handing the lead to Allen Berg, who had been penalised by a minute for creeping forward at the start. Berg won on the road by more than a lap, but just three seconds short of making up for the penalty. 20 minutes after the finish, Berg was told he had won the race, and therefore the Mondial series, but after the winner's press conference had finished, he was told he was second, and the race winner and champion was O'Brien. As Berg had only crept forward and then stopped, it seemed a poor decision, an entirely apt way for Formula Mondial to end.

The races

08 Jan 1983 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

16 Jan 1983 > Manfeild

06 Feb 1983 > Calder

1983 FIA World Cup Series Formula Mondial South Pacific Region table

1Charlie O'BrienRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD42 pts2 wins
2Allen BergRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD33 pts 
3Norm HunterRalt RT4/83 - Ford BDD26 pts 
4Dave McMillanRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD18 pts 
5Paul RadisichRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD15 pts 
6Mike RosenRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDD12 pts 

Autosport's reports on this series were AS 6 Jan 1983 p50 (Bay Park by Peter Greenslade), AS 13 Jan 1983 p53 (Pukekohe by Peter Greenslade), AS 20 Jan 1983 pp13-14 (Pukekohe by David McKinney), AS 20 Jan 1983 p53 (Manfeild by Ron Frost), AS 27 Jan 1983 p22 (Manfeild by David McKinney), AS 27 Jan 1983 p52 (Wigram by Peter Greenslade) and AS 10 Feb 1983 p34 (Calder Park by Bob Jennings).