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TWEEDIE CLAIMS F5000 CLEAN SWEEP AT SANDOWN

Sydneysider Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24) made no race of the second round of this season's SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival series at the 25th anniversary Historic Sandown meeting in Melbourne over the weekend, qualifying on pole and claiming three uncontested wins from three starts.
Now working as a stock broker in Sydney after a promising early pro driving career in Australia's Formula 3, Carrera Cup and V8 Development series, the 28-year-old was in a class of his own at the annual VHRR-run Sandown meeting.  
 
Though he did not get to lower the outright lap record (1:05:7669) he set round the 3.104km suburban Melbourne circuit in 2013, Tweedie's pole time (1:06:6997) was over a second quicker than that of second fastest qualifier Tim Berryman (Lola T332) from Stockinbingal in rural New South Wales, and almost two seconds quicker than third fastest qualifier, Bryan Sala from Melbourne (Matich A50/51). 
 
It was a similar story in the three class races, Tweedie winning the first - on Saturday - by over 18 seconds from visiting UK driver Greg Thornton (Chevron B24) and the second - on  Sunday morning - by just over 19 seconds from Tim Berryman. 
 
The result - of the minor placings at least - might have been different had Berryman not tangled with Sala in the first race, or had Thornton not struggled with gear selection issues in both Sunday races.  
 
It would have taken a superhuman effort from either driver, however, to get close to, let alone topple, Tweedie who completed a perfect weekend with a third lights-to-flag win in the SAS Autoparts MSC F5000 feature race on Sunday afternoon from Berryman, Sala, Andrew Robson (Lola T330/2) and the first of the Kiwi contingent, Grant Martin from Auckland (Talon MR1A). 
 
Martin managed to keep the top Aussie (Bryan Sala) honest at the opening SAS Autoparts MSC series round in Perth last month, but it was series regular Greg Thornton who took on that role at the Melbourne meeting. 
 
Like fellow Chevron driver Tweedie, the Stansted, UK-based driver missed the opening round of the 2016/17 series in Perth but capitalised on the Sala/Berryman tangle (which saw Sala recover to finish fourth but Berryman out with radiator damage) to finish second in the Saturday race. 
 
That was as good as it got for Thornton, however, gear selection issues forcing him out of second place in the second race, then out of a hard-won sixth place (after starting from P12) in the 10 lap final. 
 
By contrast, Perth race winner Grant Martin was a picture of consistency, proving the quickest of the Kiwis in qualifying (seventh fastest) and claiming a fourth and two fifths in the races. 
 
Six New Zealand-based drivers lined up for qualifying but the team lost Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A) to an oil blow by issue after qualifying on Saturday morning and after struggling through the first day, series' new face Ian Riley (Lola T332) succumbed to a bad case of the flu on Sunday. 
 
Meanwhile legendary local first-time-around F5000 driver Alfie Costanzo made an appearance in a McLaren M10B on Saturday but after a tangle and spin in the first race did not reappear on Sunday. 
 
Melbourne driver Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) was another local to strike trouble, pulling out of the feature race on Sunday with a water leak. 
 
With little time to practise at the Sandown circuit before Saturday morning's 15 minute qualifying session it was always going to be a struggle for the Kiwis to get up to speed with the top local drivers.  
 
Despite that, in the races, Grant Martin was never far from Bryan Sala and Andrew Robson (Lola T330/2), and Brett Willis from Rotorua (Lola T330), and Glenn Richards (Lola T400) and Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) from Auckland enjoyed a weekend-long battle for mid-field Trans-Tasman bragging rights with Australian counterparts Darcy Russell (Lola T330), and Elfin stablemates Bill Hemming and Max Pearson.  
 
The SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series now heads back 'home' with rounds at Hampton Downs and the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park (Taupo) in January and the annual Skope Classic meeting at Christchurch's Mike Pero Motorsport Park in early February. 
 
The inaugural Trans-Tasman Trophy will go to the team which scores the most points over the first four rounds, Perth and Melbourne in Australia, and Hampton Downs and Taupo in New Zealand. 
 
Ends 
 
CAPTION
Fastest qualifier and winner of all three SAS Autoparts MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races at the Historic Sandown meeting in Melbourne over the weekend was Tom  Tweedie (#2 Chevron B24) seen here leading Tim Berryman (Lola T332). Photo credit: Fast Company/Rebecca Thompson 

 

Rnd 2 2016/17 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series 25th anniversary Historic Sandown meeting Sandown Melbourne VIC Australia Fri-Sun Nov 04-06 2016

 

Qualifying

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW) Chevron B24 1:06.6997*

2. Tim Berryman (NSW) Lola T332 1:07.9509

3. Bryan Sala (VIC) Matich A50/51 1:08.3222

4. Andrew Robson (VIC) Lola T330/2 1:09.4317

5. Greg Thornton (UK) Chevron B24 1:09.6730

6. Paul Zazryn (VIC) Lola T332 1:09.9833

7. Grant Martin (NZ) Talon MR1A 1:10.0759

8. Glenn Richards (NZ) Lola T400 1:10.6367

9. Darcy Russell (VIC) Lola T330 1:12.6209

10. Brett Willis (NZ) Lola T330 1:12.7020

11. Alfredo Costanzo (VIC) McLaren M10B 1:13.7957

12. Frank Harris (VIC) Chevron B24 1:14.7720

13. Aaron Burson (NZ) McRae GM1 1:15.0593

14. Bill Hemming (VIC) Elfin MR 8 1:16.9789

15. Tony Roberts (NZ) McLaren M10A 1:16.9987

16. Ian Riley (NZ) Lola T332 1:20.1449

17. Max Pearson (QLD) Elfin MR5 1:20.8604

 

Race 1 6 Laps

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW) Chevron B24 6:54.5301 1:07.7106*

2. Greg Thornton (UK) Chevron B24 7:13.6865

3. Andrew Robson (VIC) Lola T330/2 7:13.8027

4. Bryan Sala (VIC) Matich A50/51 7:19.9251

5. Grant Martin (NZ) Talon MR1A 7:21.3689

6. Brett Willis (NZ) Lola T330 7:24.9401

7. Darcy Russell (VIC) Lola T330 7:25.1947

8. Aaron Burson (NZ) McRae GM1 7:36.6647

9. Glenn Richards (NZ) Lola T400 7:36.8338

10. Paul Zazryn (VIC) Lola T332 7:45.3733

11. Frank Harris (VIC) Chevron B24 7:45.3790

12. Bill Hemming (VIC) Elfin MR 8 7:55.3415

13. Max Pearson (QLD) Elfin MR5 6:57.5667

14. Ian Riley (NZ) Lola T332 7:00.6749

DNF. Tim Berryman (NSW) Lola T332

 

Race 2 7 Laps

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW) Chevron B24 8:00.4804 1:07.5177*

2. Tim Berryman (NSW) Lola T332 8:19.5415

3. Bryan Sala (VIC) Matich A50/51 8:23.2779

4. Grant Martin (NZ) Talon MR1A 8:31.6226

5. Andrew Robson (VIC) Lola T330/2 8:32.1593

6. Paul Zazryn (VIC) Lola T332 8:32.7883

7. Brett Willis (NZ) Lola T330 8:33.7527

8. Darcy Russell (VIC) Lola T330 8:33.9505

9. Glenn Richards (NZ) Lola T400 8:34.6423

10. Aaron Burson (NZ) McRae GM1 8:44.8211

11. Bill Hemming (VIC) Elfin MR 8 9:13.2988

12. Max Pearson (QLD) Elfin MR5 8:06.2964

DNF. Frank Harris (VIC) Chevron B24; Greg Thornton Chevron B24.

 

Race 3 10 Laps

1. Tom Tweedie (NSW) Chevron B24 11:25.2797 1:07.6311*

2. Tim Berryman (NSW) Lola T332 11:29.6159

3. Bryan Sala (VIC) Matich A50/51 11:50.0005

4. Andrew Robson (VIC) Lola T330/2 11:58.8054

5. Grant Martin (NZ) Talon MR1A 12:01.9095

6. Darcy Russell (VIC) Lola T330) 12:13.0531

7. Brett Willis (NZ) Lola T330 12:14.4453

8. Glenn Richards (NZ) Lola T400 12:15.7268

9. Aaron Burson (NZ) McRae GM1 12:34.8008

10. Bill Hemming (VIC) Elfin MR 8 11:47.8277

DNF. Greg Thornton (UK) Chevron B24, Paul Zazryn (VIC) Lola T332