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The Tasman Cup was initially a healthy winter series held jointly by the Australian and New Zealand motorsport authorities during the 1960s. By adopting the 2.5-litre Formula 1 rules of 1954-60, the organisers attracted works teams such as Cooper, Ferrari, BRM, and Lotus, who ran old Grand Prix engines powering new chassis.
Drivers of the calibre of Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, and Jochen Rindt were pitted against locals Jack Brabham, Chris Amon, and Bruce McLaren, making the series a winter World Championship in all but name. During these years Clark won the title three times, a record matched by New Zealander Graham McRae after organisers switched to Formula 5000 rules in 1970.
But as the Grand Prix World Championship was expanded, F5000 failed to attract the European teams and the popularity of the Tasman Cup waned. Finally, in 1976 the series was abandoned in favour of separate championships in each country – the Gold Star in Australia and International Series in New Zealand.