New Zealand Formula Pacific 1986

The local drivers were again joined two of the American drivers that had done so well the previous year, 21-year-old reigning champion Ross Cheever and 29-year-old Californian Jeff MacPherson. Cheever's Ralt was so new it arrived from London too late for official practice at the first round, at Bay Park. A shortage of rain tyres forced the round to be run as a single race instead of the planned two heats, and MacPherson led from start to finish. Cheever's Ralt was fully sorted for the Pukekohe weekend and he dominated both races. MacPherson then took pole position for the Manfeild race but the first race was wet and was dominated by Cheever. However, in dry conditions for the second race, MacPherson was able to take a narrow victory and extend his championship lead to seven points.

The prospects for an existing finale were lost as Cheever's sponsorship deal ran out before the final race, and he returned to the US. That left MacPherson able to dominate the two Wigram races, followed by local drivers Paul Radisich, Ken Smith and Brett Riley.

The races

29 Dec 1985 > Baypark Raceway

05 Jan 1986 > Pukekohe

05 Jan 1986 > New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe

12 Jan 1986 > Manfeild

12 Jan 1986 > Manfeild

19 Jan 1986 > Wigram

19 Jan 1986 > Lady Wigram Trophy

1986 New Zealand International Formula Mondial Series table

1Jeff MacPhersonRalt RT4/86- Ford BDA58 pts4 wins
2Ross CheeverRalt RT4/86 - Ford BDA33 pts3 wins
3Paul RadisichRalt RT4/85 - Ford BDA32 pts 
4Ted PrappasRalt RT4/85 - Ford BDA22 pts 
5Ken SmithRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDA18 pts 
6Cary BrenRalt RT4 - Ford BDA15 pts 
7Brett RileyRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDA12 pts 
8Dave McMillanRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDA4 pts 
9Steve BrenRalt RT4 - Ford BDA2 pts 
9Bob CreasyRalt RT4/82 - Ford BDA2 pts 
9Peter HaskettChevron B34/47- Ford BDA2 pts 

Previous: New Zealand 1985

Next: New Zealand 1987

Previous: Australia 1985

Next: Australia 1986

Points table from On Track 17 Feb 1986 p51.

The New Zealand International series remained a four-weekend affair, but there were some tweaks to the way points were allocated. Each event, described by the organisers as a round, would comprise two separate races - sometimes called heats - and both races would count separately for points. At Pukekohe and at Wigram, the second races were longer than the first, and were for the New Zealand Grand Prix and Lady Wigram Trophy titles respectively. The 20-15-12 points system that had allowed Ross Cheever to take the previous title was changed to the traditional 9-6-4-3-2-1 system, which gave a better chance to the driver that won the most races.