Dedicated patrons and pure fans of New Zealand motorsport for decades, the Giltrap Group counts among its motorsport memorabilia race helmets worn by a number of Kiwi drivers in their individual quests for podium glory. We unlock the glass cabinet for an exclusive up-close look at six key helmets worn by six of New Zealand’s – and the world’s – absolute best.
2017 FORMULA 1 SEASON
In 2017, Brendon Hartley fulfilled a life-long goal, becoming the first New Zealander to drive in Formula 1 in 33 years. It was a feat made even more challenging by the commercial realities that underpin the sport in the modern era. Hartley epitomised the ‘Racer’s racer’ ethos. Competing in the world’s premiere motorsport category is enough for most drivers; but Hartley added the mental and physical challenge of endurance racing to the demanding full time F1 schedule, contesting rounds in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche. Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the Porsche factory team with co-drivers Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard, the 31-year-old went on to win Le Mans a second time in 2020 with Toyota. Hartley’s Formula 1 experience was fraught with challenges, but the doors this determined Kiwi opened remain ajar for future New Zealand drivers in years to come.
By 2016 when this helmet was worn, Earl Bamber was already one of the world’s pre-eminent Porsche Cup drivers, having dominated the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series. Bamber also won his class in the Bathurst 12-Hour, as well as racing the 911 RSR to seventh place. He then joined F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg in the Porsche LMP squad, winning the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The helmet accompanied Bamber to his first GT LM win in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as to podiums at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Sebring 12-Hour endurance races. Bamber remains a valued partner in Porsche’s global motorsport programme today and now owns his own race team, Earl Bamber Motorsport. In their debut season running the newly developed 991 GT3 R, they secured Porsche’s first outright win in the Bathurst 12-Hour.
2016 PORSCHE GT LM SEASON
2003 INDYCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Years of dedication and sacrifices of enormous magnitude finally paid off for Scott Dixon in 2003, as he dominated his first year in the Indy Racing League. In the overall context of his contribution to Indycar and motorsport, it is easy to overlook tha enormous achievement in his inaugural season. Dixon set new records for leading races over consecutive events and total laps lead, ultimately winning the championship comfortably. Dixon remains the only Indycar driver to win in their first season. He has, of course, gone on to become a bone fide racing legend. He boasts the most wins by any current Indycar driver, is the third most winning IRL driver of all time and – having won no less than six IRL Championships, including the 2020 series – continues to underline the fact in absolute winning style that he has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. And yes, if you’re wondering; those black scars on Dixon’s helmet are the traces of tyre rubber flicked into his face, like so much shrapnel, throughout that hard-fought 2003 season.
If you ever needed reminding of New Zealand’s contribution to the world of motorsport, look no further than Jonny Reid and his piloting of ‘Black Beauty’ in the fleeting “World Cup of Motorsport”; the A1GP. Reid was a cornerstone driver in the 2007-2008 season. While no less than 47 drivers competed in the global series, only six contested every single round. Reid was one of those six. With four A1GP wins, Reid equalled for the most race wins in the season. A1 Team New Zealand were strong contenders for the duration, only marginally missing out on the championship to eventual winners Switzerland. In the process, Reid didn’t just prove his mettle against some of the best drivers in the world, he also famously raced an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200ER passenger jet at speeds in excess of 280km/h on the runway at Auckland International Airport. Different times.
2007-2008 A1GP SEASON
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN
2016 GT CHAMPIONSHIP
When Shane van Gisbergen isn’t busy being one of the most dynamic drivers in Australia’s Supercars series, he appears to be continually trying his hand at every other format of motorsport he can. Rally, dirt oval, drifting, GT, prototype and even sim racing… nothing is off limits for SVG. His innate ability to feel the vehicle’s handling characteristics and feedback means he is on par with the best-ofthe-best in these respective categories.This helmet was worn during the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, which Shane, and co-drivers Rob Bell and Come Ledogar won driving a McLaren 650S GT3 for the factory McLaren team. The Blancpain series saw van Gisbergen contest endurance races at Monza, Silverstone, Circuit Paul Ricard, Spa and the Nurburgring. That same year – this time in a Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 – he also set the fastest GT lap at Mountain Panorama. But of course he did.
In between securing three championships in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series between 2010 and 2012, Mitch Evans also contested in Europe’s Formula 3 and GP3 categories. As all series are considered firm feeders into Formula 1, Evans’ ambitions for the future were clear. Evans used this helmet in the GP3 series and with management and mentorship from Formula 1 legend, Mark Webber, he honed his race craft to become one of the top up-and-comer drivers in Europe. A multiple race-winner and strong contender for the championship in 2011, Mitch eventually graduated to the GP2 category (the direct feeder class to F1) and would achieve as high as fourth in that championship before a considerable change of tack saw him switch focus to the emerging all-electric category and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Joining Jaguar Racing in 2016, Evans secured Jaguar’s first ever Formula E race win and is now entering his fifth consecutive season as a factory driver for the iconic brand.
2011 GP3 CHAMPIONSHIP