New Zealand Gold Star Race
Pukekohe, 13 Nov 1977
|1||Ken Smith||March 76B  - Ford BDA Nicholson
#11 La Valise Travel (see note 1)
|2||Ross Stone||Cuda JR3 - Ford BDA Nicholson
|3||Richard Melville||March 76B  - Ford BDA Swindon
#10 Southplant (see note 2)
|4||Reg Cook||March 742 ["U1"] - Ford BDA
|5||Eric Morgan||Chevron B29 [29-75-30] - Ford BDA
#15 (see note 3)
|6||Norm Lankshear||Chevron B34 [34-76-19] - Ford BDA Hart
#16 (see note 4)
|7||Dave Saunders||March 722  - Ford BDA
#25 (see note 5)
|R||Dave McMillan||Ralt RT1/76  - Ford BDA Hart
#0 Team McMillan (see note 6)
|DNS||Robbie Francevic||Modus M3 [022(B)/054] - Ford BDA Nicholson
|Did not start
All cars are 1.6-litre F/Pac unless noted.
|1||Ken Smith||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 76B  - Ford BDA Nicholson||1.06.0|
|2||Richard Melville||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 76B  - Ford BDA Swindon||1.07.1|
|3||Ross Stone||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre Cuda JR3 - Ford BDA Nicholson||1.07.8|
|4||Norm Lankshear||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B34 [34-76-19] - Ford BDA Hart||1.08.0|
|5||Eric Morgan||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre Chevron B29 [29-75-30] - Ford BDA||1.09.2|
|6||Reg Cook||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 742 ["U1"] - Ford BDA||1.09.4|
|7||Dave Saunders||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre March 722  - Ford BDA||1.13.3|
|8||Dave McMillan||(F/Pac) 1.6-litre Ralt RT1/76  - Ford BDA Hart||No time|
Notes on the cars:
- March 76B  (Ken Smith): Sold via Doug Shierson to Ken Smith (New Zealand) and debuts in early 1977 New Zealand races. Retained to 1981 then sold to Warren Binning. Returned to Smith in 1982 and retained to at least 2003.
- March 76B  (Richard Melville): An orange March 76B invoiced to Shierson in March 1976. Believed to be the orange #4 March 76B entered by Doug Shierson Racing for Marty Loft (Olympia, WA) until Mosport Park in August when Loft crashed, but this is still uncertain. Then the black #91 car for guest driver Vittorio Brambilla at Trois-Rivières two weeks later. Sold to Richard Melville and used by him in New Zealand racing in 1977 and 1978, where David McKinney noted that is was "ex-Brambilla" and that it carried chassis plate 76B-14. Sold to Unipart for Tiff Needell to use in the 1979 Macau GP, then sold to Sonny Rajah in time for the 1980 Malaysian GP.
- Chevron B29 [29-75-30] (Eric Morgan): Built as a works development car, and tested by Brian Redman. Then entered by Jörg Obermoser's Team Warsteiner Eurorace for Hans Binder to drive in Formula 2 with a Rosche BMW engine, when it was reported to be chassis 32. Brian Redman drove it in the 1976 New Zealand Internationals, still with its 2-litre BMW engine, this time as part of the Fred Opert team. Sold in New Zealand to David Oxton, fitted with a Formula Pacific BDA engine and raced in the New Zealand Formula Pacific series in January 1977. Then to Eric Morgan for Gold Star and International races from 1977 to 1981. Sold to Chris Read for 1982. Later history with the car indicates that it was sold by Read to Kenny Smith in 1991, then to Brian Sampson in 1992, then Peter Whelan in 2000, and Miles Jackson in 2008.
- Chevron B34 [34-76-19] (Norm Lankshear): Tom Bagley (Centre Hall, PA) raced a yellow-and-blue Chevron B34 run by Fred Opert Racing in three IMSA Formula Atlantic races in early 1976, with Kent Oil sponsorship. This car was then raced by Juan Cochesa (Venezuela) in the Players Formula Atlantic series, starting at Edmonton on 16 May. Chris Waddell's report from Edmonton for Autosport described Cochesa's car as "an Opert B34 driven earlier in the year by Tom Bagley". Cochesa then moved to a new car, and the ex-Bagley car was sold to RJ Nelkin (Roslyn, NY/Woodbury, NY), who first raced it in an SCCA National at Summit Point in late June. He then raced it in Pro and SCCA races for the rest of 1976. Nelkin recalls that the car was then returned to Opert to be used as a spare car for Keke Rosberg and Mikko Kozarowitzky to use in the New Zealand Formula Pacific series in January 1977. After the 1977 New Zealand series, the car was sold to Norman Lankshear (Feilding, New Zealand) and raced in the Gold Star series in 1977/78 and 1978/79, and the International series in early 1978 and early 1979. It was then sold to Bryan Hartley (Palmerston) and raced by him in the 1981/82 season. The car was then sold to John Wigston (Auckland), fitted with a Ford crossflow engine and used in hillclimbs in New Zealand in the late 1980s. Wigston was reported to still have the car in October 2016.
- March 722  (Dave Saunders): The prototype March 722 was sold to Sports Motors Manchester for Gerry Birrell to race in Formula 2 in 1972. At the end of the season, the car was sold to New Zealander Kenny Smith, and fitted with a 1930cc Cosworth FVC engine for the 1973 Tasman series. He also used it at the April 1973 Singapore Grand Prix using a 1600cc Hart Ford twin-cam. Frank Radisich bought it and bolted on the Repco Holden engine and rear end from his McLaren M10B, but this was wholely unsuccessful, and Radisich later tried a Mazda engine instead, also updating it to 1976 nose and sidepods, but again with no success. In late 1977, it reappeared with Dave Saunders who had fitted a Cosworth BDA engine for Formula Pacific, but the reliability problems persisted. According to Graham Vercoe, Dennis Dunbar later raced it, again with the Mazda engine. In the late 1980s, it was bought less engine from Dunbar by Murray Biddick, who restored the car, fitted a BDA engine and did a couple of club events. It was then sold on his behalf by Charlie Conway to Adrian Whapman. David McKinney reported that Whapman was advertising it in 1994. David also noted that it later went to Australia, where it was owned in 2003 by Kevin Miller, and then returned to NZ and was owned by David Heron. By 2008, Heron had restored it in STP livery, and it was being associated with Niki Lauda.
- Ralt RT1/76  (Dave McMillan): To Cavanaugh Racing and run for Kevin Cogan in two late-season 1976 Canadian Formula Atlantic races. Sold to David McMillan and raced in the 1976/77 New Zealand Gold Star season, and in the January 1977 New Zealand International Formula Pacific series. Taken back to Canada for McMillan to race in two Canadian series races in 1977, then back to New Zealand for the 1977/78 Gold Star series and the January 1978 International series. Retained by McMillan for the 1978/79 and 1979/80 seasons, while also used in a handful of North American races in 1979 and 1980. Rebuilt as a Formula Super Vee for McMillan in 1980. McMillan moved to Ray Lipper’s Centreline Wheels team in 1981 and the old RT1 was raced by Lipper that season. CT
The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.
The New Zealand race results have been provided by Chris Townsend based on material in Autosport and Motoring News reports in the UK, Motoraction in New Zealand plus the information supplied by a wide range of contributors.
All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help in any way with our research.