Gold Star legend Alfie Costanzo to be recognised at Phillip Island
Four-time Australian Drivers’ Champion and Gold Star winner Alfredo ‘Alfie’ Costanzo will be recognised by the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers Championship, with the second-round trophy named in his honour.
The winner of the second round of the Gold Star round at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit will win the Costanzo Cup and will be presented the trophy by the man himself.
Costanzo, now 78, is one of only two four-time Gold Star winners – having won consecutive titles between 1980-1983.
The creation of the Costanzo Cup comes as S5000 organisers continue to recognise and expand on the remarkable history of top-level Aussie open wheel racing and the Australian Drivers’ Championship.
Round 1 winner Thomas Randle claimed the John McCormack Trophy at Symmons Plains, the three-time Gold Star winner presenting Randle with his trophy in person.
Costanzo will be present to award the round two winner at Phillip Island following the (Sunday Feb 21) feature race.
“I am flattered and honoured to have a trophy named after me in this new generation of Australian open-wheel racing,” Costanzo said.
“I have watched S5000 closely since the category was announced and I am impressed with the cars, the racing and the drivers competing.
“It’s a wonderful category and great to see this new era of the Gold Star, which is an award that has special significance for me.
“I am looking forward to being at Phillip Island to see the cars in person and present the trophy to the winner.”
Costanzo’s remarkable career, which included 17 Australian Drivers’ Championship race wins, spanned two eras; his first pair of titles coming in F5000 machinery and his second pair in the initial two years of the international Formula Pacific class.
Born in Calabria, Italy, in 1943 Costanzo and his family migrated to Australia in 1957; Alfie beginning racing aboard a Lotus open wheeler in 1964.
Having initially battled for funding and opportunity, Costanzo made the bold step into F5000 in 1976 – winning his first Gold Star race in the same year.
However, it was a partnership with then Porsche Cars Australia distributor Alan Hamilton that saw Costanzo truly make his mark as the pair joined forces in 1979.
Having finished a remarkable fourth in the 1980 Australian Grand Prix at Calder, behind Formula 1 aces Alan Jones, Bruno Giacomelli and Didier Pironi, Costanzo went on to win the 1980 title – his first of four straight wins in Australia’s premier open wheel formula.
Costanzo has remained active in the sport since retiring from professional competition in the 1990s, returning to the track in the mid-2010s to race Hamilton’s McLaren M10 F5000 at historic events.
Two further Gold Star legends will be recognised in subsequent rounds of the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship. CLICK HERE to secure tickets to the inaugural All Wheels Race Fest at the famous Island Grand Prix circuit. All three races from Phillip Island will be broadcast live and free on the screens of Seven across the February 20-21 weekend.