Trass Family Motorsport, New Zealand’s Ferrari racing team, is proud to welcome Richard Oxton into its driver line up for this weekend’s Hampton Downs NIERDC Endurance round.
Richard, 29, is a star of the popular BMW E30 Driver’s Series and eldest son of David; a legend of New Zealand motorsport who needs little introduction.
A cunning, unassuming driver and the consummate professional; David is arguable one of New Zealand’s most naturally gifted drivers, ever. That said, his back-to-back NZ Formula Ford Championships and three New Zealand Gold Star titles in Formula Pacific didn’t do justice to David’s immense skills.
The stellar reputation that has followed in his retirement is testament to David’s place in the Hall of Fame of our sport, and fans will no doubt follow Richard’s progress with interest this weekend as he takes the wheel of the #26 TFM Ferrari F430 Challenge.
The competition for Oxton will be hot, with 46 entries in the One Hour race making for the most competitive grid in recent memory. The entry list is headed by GT3-spec Audi and Ferrari machinery and a gaggle of endurance proven Porsche GT3 Cup cars.
Richard’s pathway into GT racing has not followed the common trend, however his ability was quickly realized in his late teens when he joined the KartSport ranks in the Rotax Max Challenge, and the last five seasons in the BMW E30s has seen Richard become the man to beat in the one-make series, which regularly boasts fields of 60-80 cars.
The significant leap in performance to a Ferrari GT car, mixed with the unique challenges of endurance racing, are both exciting prospects for the Aucklander.
The One Hour race is the undercard to the longer Three Hour endure later in the day, where TFM’s Pro and Development pilots, Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth, are out to make amends for their early retirement at Taupo in the #26 Ferrari F430 GT3, which scored pole position and set the early pace at the head of the field.
Tickets for Saturday’s North Island Endurance Series event at Hampton Downs can be purchased for $20 at www.hdticketing.co.nz or on the gate. Racing kicks off with the One Hour race at 11:00am, and the 3/6 Hour race running from 01:00pm.
RICHARD OXTON / Driver – TFM Ferrari F430 Challenge #28
I’m looking forward to a great weekend presenting new challenges from many angles, joining the Trass Family Motorsport Team for this endurance round at the mighty Hampton Downs race track. With such a large field the main battle will be getting through the traffic. A lot will be learned this weekend for myself and the team and I hope we can bring home a result.
JONO LESTER / Driver – TFM Ferrari F430 GT3 #26
Taupo was a disappointment for us but not a total surprise, being the first race with an unfamiliar car. Teething problems struck at the worst time, but we enter Hampton Downs with renewed confidence and I believe we be both faster, and in winning contention right to the finish. The grids numbers are astounding, and the influx of GT3 cars bodes well for the resurgence of endurance racing in NZ. We’re proud to be a part of it.
GRAEME SMYTH / Driver – TFM Ferrari F430 GT3 #26
We showed what we can do at Taupo and will be a strong force once again at TFM’s ‘home’ track. The competition has risen yet again and it won’t be easy, but after two near-misses in a row Jono and I are hungry and determined to get the monkey off our backs with a win.
GERALD TRASS / Team Principal – Trass Family Motorsport
TFM is happy to have Richard Oxton on the team for the Hampton Downs round of the NIEDRC. I have observed Richard’s progress in the BMW series and I believe he will relish the opportunity to step up to Endurance racing. Hopefully it will be the start of a new chapter in his racing career. TFM’s ethos is one of family and look forward to David Oxton’s inclusion on the team as Richard’s mentor.