New Zealand's world-class MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series might never have got off the ground had it not been for the contribution of founder member Stan Redmond who died yesterday (Thursday February 21) in Dunedin Hospital.

Redmond, 65, from Christchurch, sustained serious head and upper body injuries after tangling with another car and hitting the safety barriers in a test session at Invercargill's Teretonga Park Raceway last Friday (February 15).

He was air-lifted to Dunedin Hospital (site of the South Island's specialist head injury unit) that evening and was listed in a serious but stable condition until his death.

Redmond's first successes were in business where he built Christchurch-based Flexoplas Packaging Ltd into a leading New Zealand supplier of plain and printed plastic bags and films. He applied the same passion and commitment to his racing and without him, says long-time friend and collaborator John Crawford, there might not have been an MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series.

"He was start of it, the catalyst, if you like," says Crawford, a former New Zealand Formula Ford champion whose Christchurch-based business, Motorsport Solutions Ltd, has developed an international reputation re-building and maintaining the stock-block V8-engined Formula 5000 single-seater racing cars Redmond had such a passion for. "This was at least 15 years ago now and at the time there were probably only one or two F5000 cars in New Zealand. Stan bought one of them and got to me to drive it at a couple of the Skope Classic meetings."

Interest in that car led to fellow Christchurch men Ian Clements and Murray Sinclair buying cars of their own and when there were enough cars to make up a decent grid the Formula 5000 Association was set up as part of the Historic Racing Club to run what became the Tasman Cup Revival Series.

Redmond was one of 11 members of the association who travelled to Pukekohe Park Raceway for the inaugural series' race over the September 20/21 weekend in 2003 and spokesman David Abbott says his legion of fellow competitors and friends up and down the pit lane are still trying to come to terms with his death.

"Our thoughts right now, obviously, are with Stan's wife and family. Stan was more than just a fellow competitor in our very tight-knit little group of the Formula 5000 Association. He was a friend, a mentor, someone who would always go out of his way to help and never expect anything in return. His generosity was legendary and it will be a very different world without him, that's for sure."

All pictures courtesy of Fast Company/Alex Mitchell.