Kiwis’ involvement with motorsport goes back to the dawn of the combustion engine, and the international rapport that we have earned stretches back to a golden era of famous Kiwis who took the motorsport world by storm, playing a key part in many disciplines of racing to develop them into the global events by today's standards.
There has never been a time that so many of our current racing legends have had an opportunity to come together in one place, and the Legends of Speed event is taking advantage of that chance to celebrate New Zealand's greatest drivers — both past and present — at the Giltrap Group–presented gala dinner at Vector Arena on Friday, November 25.
At the forefront of Kiwi motorsport triumphs is four-time IndyCar champion, and Indianapolis 500 race winner, Scott Dixon, who is set to headline the event as one of New Zealand’s most-successful and recognized racing drivers.
The event will allow you to rub shoulders with Dixon and a contingent of Kiwi greats, and features a showcase of never-seen-before footage and interviews with our legendary drivers. A display of the world's rarest and most-exclusive supercars from private New Zealand collections will also be featured — some of which are very rarely seen in the light of day — and will complement the evening alongside a motorsport memorabilia auction that includes historic racing treasures and one-off experiences.
Dixon will be joined on the night by Hyundai World Rally Championship (WRC) crew and Argentinian Rally winners Hayden Paddon and co-driver John Kennard, who recently became the first Kiwis to win a WRC round, and surpassed the late Possum Bourne’s stage win record.
“Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon, Howden Ganley, and Mike Thackwell all reached the pinnacle of the sport by competing in Formula One and they helped to lay the foundations for future generations who aspire to the highest levels,” explained event organizer Peter Johnston.
“We’ll honour the past and present, and we will tell the stories and reflect on some of their greatest moments through live interviews and exciting video production,” said Johnston.
Also tagging along for the fun will be World Endurance Champion and factory Porsche driver Brendon Hartley, and Le Mans 24 Hour winner and Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber.
For the [V8] Supercar lovers, our contingency will be well represented by Scott McLaughlin [Wilson Security Racing], Fabian Coulthard [Team Penske], and Shane van Gisbergen [Red Bull Racing Australia]. Four-time Bathurst winner and ‘lap of the gods’ setter Greg Murphy will also attend as one of the country’s most successful exports to the Australian series.
Other attending drivers include GT and Porsche racing icon Craig Baird, Asia Porsche Carrera Cup champion Chris van der Drift, and Japanese Lexus Super GT driver and current Japanese Formula 3 champion Nick Cassidy.
Proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy, and to support the Bring Back WRC New Zealand campaign.
For ticket details and more information, jump onto the Legends of Speed website: legendsofspeed.co.nz.