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ADVANTAGE AUSTRALIA AS F5000s WOW ‘EM AT PHILLIP ISLAND

Australian pair Tom Tweedie and Tim Berryman claimed the early advantage in the SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races at the annual VHRR Philip Island Classic ‘Festival of Motor Sport meeting presented by Burson Auto Parts’ in Australia yesterday and today.

So far this weekend Tweedie (Chevron B24/28), has been quickest, the Sydneysider claiming pole position in Saturday morning’s category qualifying session with a time – 1.26.9251 – a good second-and-a-half quicker than compatriot Berryman (Lola T332, 1.28.6314) then winning the first race of the weekend later that day and the second and the third (of five planned for the weekend) today.

Berryman, from rural New South Wales, had issues with his car’s throttle on Friday, but after qualifying second quickest and finishing a distant second to Tweedie in the first - 4 lap - race on Friday afternoon, was much more competitive once the throttle was working to his satisfaction today.

On his way to a close second place - just over a second behind Tweedie at the flag after five laps – in the second race of the weekend this morning he set the quickest race lap in the morning race.

He also finished  a safe second in the third race this afternoon, this time crossing the line just over three seconds behind the Chevron of Tweedie, but again well ahead of the first of the Kiwi visitors, in this case, two-time former series champion Ian Clements (Lola T332) from Christchurch.

With four-time series champion Ken Smith (Lola T332) a late scratching thanks to engine parts not arriving in time from the United States, and impressive SAS Autoparts MSC series young gun Michael Collins (McRae GM1) attending his sister’s wedding this weekend, the onus of taking the battle to the top Australians at the Phillip Island Classic initially fell to one of the other former series’ title holders, Andy Higgins (Lola T332).

However after heading the  nine-strong Kiwi ‘landing party’ in qualifying the Aucklander spun out of third place in the Friday race (though he managed to recover and finish that race in seventh position) then suffered a broken cam follower on his way to finishing third in the morning race today, putting him out for the third race and the final pair of races tomorrow.

Such is the core strength of the SAS Autoparts MSC Series field however, that each race so far has had the large crowd at the meeting lining the spectator fences as battles ebb-and-flow through the mid-field.

On Friday it was Aaron Burson and Ian Clements who stepped in when Andy Higgins spun, the pair crossing the finish line in third and fourth places respectively, Burson bridging the gap between Berryman and Clements and the best of the rest of the 11-strong ‘local side,’ Victorian David Hardman.

Hardman was driving the first of the Class A (for older F5000 models) cars home, the McLaren M10B owned by Australian motor industry identity (and former F5000 racer) Alan Hamilton and originally made available for local racing legend Alfredo (Alfie) Costanzo to drive this weekend.

With Costanzo unavailable Hardman stepped in at the last minute and ended up impressing everyone, qualifying sixth quickest and finishing sixth in the first race and seventh in both the second and the third.

Kiwi Class A counterpart Dave Arrowsmith (Lotus 70) looked set to keep Hardman honest after qualifying his unique Ford-powered Lotus 70 in eighth place. However he was slowed in Saturday’s race by a gear selection problem then (with that issue fixed) was forced out of the second weekend race this morning with an electrical fault.

He finally had a clean run in the third race, though had to start from the back row of the grid but managed to get back to 10th place before the chequered flag came out.

Aucklander Frank Karl (McLaren M10B) has also had an up and down weekend so far in his Class A car, though with an early overheating issue fixed by a borrowed water pump he was able to start and finish both races today.

Defending series title holder Brett Willis (Lola T330) has not had the best of starts to his Phillip Island weekend, struggling with a gearbox issue. In stark contrast, however, David Banks and series newcomer Tony Galbraith (both Lola T332) have enjoyed a so far trouble-free run, The pair have rarely been more than a second or two apart in the races with Galbraith getting to the finish line first in the first and third race but Banks returning the favour in the second.

Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) was typically quick in qualifying (fourth) and finished third in the first race and fourth in the third. In the second one though he outbraked himself heading down Lukey Heights and into the MG hairpin (after changing brake pads) and after running off the track and letting most of the field by, ending up back in 10th place at the flag.

The F5000 cars will be back on track at Phillip Island tomorrow (Sunday) with a fourth five lap race in the morning followed by a 50km category feature race on Sunday afternoon.

The 2017/18 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ  F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors SAS Autoparts, MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney's Specialised Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide Batteries.

You can follow the 2017/18 series on Facebook at F5000 New Zealand or on the NZ F5000 Association's website www.F5000.co.nz

Ends

CAPTIONS

Australian pair Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24/28) and Tim Berryman (Lola T332) have dominated the SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races at the Phillip Island Classic so far this weekend. Quick Kiwis at the meeting so far have included David Banks and Tony Galbraith (Lola T332s) and Aaron Burson (McRae GM1). Photo credit: Fast Company/Jim Lester

2017/18 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series

RESULTS

Qualifying

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 1:26.9251

2. Tim Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 1:28.6314 

3. Andy Higgins (NZ, Lola T332) 1:30.5634 

4. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 1:31.6998 

5. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 1:32.9768 

6. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren M10B) 1:33.6687 

7. David Banks (NZ, Lola T3320 1:34.7091 

8. David Arrowsmith (NZ,  Lotus 70B) 1:34.9786

9. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola T332) 1:35.9141 

10. Grant Martin (NZ,Talon MR1A) 1:37.0260 

11. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 1:37.5042 

12. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 1:38.6491 

13. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 1:41.0780 

14. Rodney Carroll (NSW, Lola T140) 1:41.1059 

15. David Crabtree (VIC, March) 1:46.9718 

16. Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24) 1:46.9854 

17. Maxwell Pearson (QLD, Elfin MR5) 1:50.5664 

18. Robert Splatt (VIC, March 732A 1:53.0243 

19. Michael Glynn (VIC, Elfin MR8-BC) 4:23.8889 

Formula 5000 Race 1

(Fri 4 laps) 

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 5:56.6373

2. Tim Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 6:06.0570

3. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 6:15.9769

4. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 6:21.3568

5. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren MB10) 6:22.9853

6. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola 332) 6:29.0793

7. Andy Higgins (NZ, Lola T332) 6:29.2261

8. David Banks (NZ, Lola T332) 6:30.7417

9. Grant Martin (NZ, Talon MR1A) 6:34.3050

10. David Arrowsmith (NZ, Lotus 70B) 6:37.3263

11. Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24) 6:42.6949

12. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 6:48.8187

13. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 6:49.6617

14. Rodney Carroll (NSW, Lola T140) 6:54.1010

15. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 6:59.4158

16. Michael Glynn (VIC, Elfin MR8-BC) 6:59.4973

17. David Crabtree (VIC, March) 7:06.0026

18. Robert Splatt (VIC, March 732A) 7:49.6827

19. Maxwell Pearson (QLD, Elfin MR8) 6:09.2092

Race 2

(Sat am 5 laps)

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 7:27.8583

2. Tim Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 7:28.9281 (1:27.9066*)

3. Andy Higgins (NZ, Lola T332) 7:52.9796

4. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 7:57.1690

5. David Banks (NZ, Lola T332) 8:07.5428

6. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola T332) 8:07.9012

7. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren M10B) 8:12.1533

8. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 8:17.7248

9. Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24) 8:18.2481

10. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 8:19.9689

11. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 8:29.4778

12. Grant Martin (NZ, Talon MR1A) 8:29.6494

13. Michael Glynn (VIC, Elfin MR8-BC) 8:50.4490

14. Rodney Carroll (NSW, Lola T140) 8:50.7387

15. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 8:51.3887

16. Adrian Akhurst (SA, Lola T332C) 8:51.5026

17. Robert Splatt (VIC, March 732A) 7:31.1072

18. Frank Karl (NZ, McLaren M10B) 7:53.2060

DNF. David Arrowsmith (NZ, Lotus 70B) Max Pearson (QLD, Elfin MR5)   

Race 3

(Sat pm 5 laps)                             

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 7:27.9943   2 1:28.4367*

2. Tim Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 7:31.2318

3. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 7:52.2989

4. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 7:59.3080

5. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola T332) 8:00.6361

6. David Banks (NZ, Lola T332) 8:01.3975

7. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren M10B) 8:10.5329

8. Grant Martin (NZ, Talon MR1A) 8:11.9353

9. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 8:18.1092

10. David Arrowsmith (NZ, Lotus 70B) 8:18.4609

11. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 8:23.8618

12. Rodney Carroll (NSW, Lola T140) 8:35.1597

13. Michael Glynn (VIC, Elfin MR8-BC) 8:42.0470

14. David Crabtree (VIC, March F5000) 8:42.1625

15. Adrian Akhurst (SA, Lola T332C) 8:42.6994

16. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 8:56.3927

17. Frank Karl (NZ, McLaren M10B) 9:10.8619

18. Robert Splatt (VIC, March 732A) 7:44.0112

DNF. Max Pearson (QLD, Elfin MR, Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24)

CALENDAR

Rnd 1 - Nov 03-05 2017 – ITM Auckland SuperSprint Supercar event Pukekohe, NZ

Rnd 2 - Nov 10-12 2017 – The Sound MG Classic meeting Circuit Chris Amon Manfeild Feilding NZ

Rnd 3 - Jan 19-21 2018 - Historic Grand Prix meeting, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo NZ

Rnd 4 - Jan 26-28 2018 - HRC/Speedworks NZ Motor Cup meeting Hampton Downs Nth Waikato, NZ

Rnd 5 - Feb 02-04  2018 – Skope Classic Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna Christchurch, NZ

Rnd 6 - March 09-11 2018 - VHRR Phillip Island Classic Phillip Island VIC Australia

 

Special event – Aug 23-26 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion meeting