British driver Mark Dwyer (Lola T400) topped a truly international podium after the first MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival series race at the Formula 1™ Qantas Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne today.
Dwyer was untroubled to win today’s 8-lap race, crossing the finish line just over 20 seconds ahead of Australian Aaron Lewis (Chevron B24) and Kiwi, David Abbott (Lola T430).
After qualifying on Thursday, high hopes were held for local young gun James Davison (Lola T332), son of former F5000 racer Jon, and grandson of four-time Australian Grand Prix winner Lex Davison.
But after joining Dwyer on the front row of the grid for today’s race Davison managed less than a lap before his car’s magneto cried enough.
Another highly-rated category newcomer, MotorSport eNews publisher Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) was also in the wars on the opening lap, clashing with fellow McRae driver Aaron Burson as the paired braked for the first turn and ending up - with Burson - in the gravel trap.
While all this was going on Phillip Island Classic race winner Greg Thornton (Chevron B24) and local Andrew Robson (Lola T332) slotted into second and third place respectively with Aaron Lewis fourth and David Abbott fifth.
That’s the way the race could well have finished too had Robson not been slowed and eventually stopped by a fuel starvation problem and Thornton not ended up in a gravel trap after an unsuccessful move on race leader Dwyer.
With both Thornton and Robson out Lewis inherited second place, Abbott third, with Darcy Russell (Lola T330) leading home an all-Australian mid-field pack consisting of Tony Floreani (Elfin MR5), Bryan Sala (Matich A50), Paul Zazryn (Lola T332), Chris Hocking (Matich A53), Peter Brennan (Lola T332) and Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8 AC).
Further back a second multi-national battle see-sawed back and forth, this one eventually settled in favour of South African Greg Mills (Sana RD11) from Kiwi Peter Burson (McRae GM1), Aussie Mike Glynn (Lola T400), Kiwi Warwick Mortimer (Surtees TS5) and Australian Paul Trevethen, the latter behind the wheel of one of three Australian-built Elfin cars in the field.
Top Kiwis Stu Lush (McRae GM1) and Stan Redmond (Lola T332) showed pace early on, particularly Lush in the car Chris Hyde drove at the Melbourne event last year, but neither finished, Lush with an ignition problem, Redmond after an off-track excursion.
This weekend’s 2010/11 series finale meeting sees two eight lap races for the popular MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series cars, with the second at a similar time tomorrow (Sunday).
The globe-trotting Kiwis behind the successful New Zealand-based MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series will then return home to prepare their cars for shipping to the UK to take on Mark Dwyer, Greg Thornton and the like on home ground over a two-round North vs South series over consecutive weekends at the end of June and beginning of July.
With NZ F5000 Association Media Release: Image: Fast Company/Alex Mitchell.