Motorsport: Series success prompts Ross to look to the US

Dunedin driver Steve Ross leads the field during the fifth round of the F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series at Hampton Downs in January. Photo by Alex Mitchell.
Dunedin driver Steve Ross leads the field during the fifth round of the F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series at Hampton Downs in January. Photo by Alex Mitchell.

Steve Ross has twice conquered the Tasman - now he is eyeing up the United States.

Ross (McRae GM1) recently scorched to a back-to-back win in the NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series.

The Dunedin driver followed up his 2011-12 title with a commanding defence, ending the six-round season with 649 points, 156 ahead of the the fast-finishing Clark Proctor (493) and 225 ahead of third-placed David Banks (Talon MR1).

Ross trumped a field including Australians, Englishmen and Americans, and is now keen to race in the United States.

''We're going to try to get to America this winter. That's the plan.''

Ross, who drives for the Christchurch-based Motorsport Solutions team, said Formula 5000 racing was bigger in New Zealand than anywhere else.

The Tasman series involving the single-seater, V8-powered cars was extremely popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s before being discontinued. It was revived about 10 years ago.

Ross (56), a contractor, said the series attracted up to 35 drivers for northern meetings, down to about 16 for the final race at Teretonga.

The cars reach speeds of up to 285kmh. The series would be the fastest racing in New Zealand in terms of lap times, Ross believed.

Ross was pipped by Australian driver Bryan Sala in the opening race of the season, in Sydney, but won the second and third races the following day.

A highlight was claiming the Lady Wigram Trophy after winning all three F5000 races at Ruapuna, in Christchurch.

Ross and his colleagues were deeply saddened at the recent death of 65-year-old driver Stan Redmond, a founder member. Redmond died in Dunedin after suffering head and upper body injuries in a test session in Invercargill.