Aussies grab early F5000 ad­van­tage

Motor Equipment News - - MOTORSPORT - By Ross MacKay Pho­tos by Re­becca Thomp­son

Aus­tralian driv­ers Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24) and Bryan Sala (Matich A50/51) have grabbed an early ad­van­tage after the first two rounds of this sea­son’s SAS Au­toparts MSC NZ F5000 Tas­man Cup Re­vival Se­ries.

Sala, from Mel­bourne, claimed pole po­si­tion and won the first two races at the open­ing round in Perth in Oc­to­ber while Syd­neysider Tom Tweedie claimed a clean sweep (pole and three race wins) at the se­cond in Mel­bourne in Novem­ber.

Auck­lan­der Grant Martin (Talon MR1A) has so far proved the best of the Ki­wis, win­ning two of the four races at the open­ing round at the Shan­nons Perth Clas­sic meet­ing then adding a fourth and two fifths at the His­toric Sandown meet­ing a fort­night later.

Though he did not make the trip to Perth, Tweedie more than made up for it at the Mel­bourne meet­ing, the 28-year-old for­mer For­mula 3 and Car­rera Cup reg­u­lar’s pole time (1:06:6997) over a se­cond quicker than that of se­cond fastest qual­i­fier Tim Ber­ry­man (Lola T332) from Wagga Wagga, and al­most two sec­onds quicker than Bryan Sala’s who was third.

It was a sim­i­lar story in the three 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.

With lit­tle time to prac­tise at the Sandown cir­cuit be­fore a 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 at the Mel­bourne meet­ing.

De­spite that Grant Martin was never far from Sala and fel­low Mel­bour­nite An­drew Rob­son (Lola T330/2), while 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 tran­sTas­man 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.

Tom Tweedie (#2 Chevron B24) lead­ing Tim Ber­ry­man (Lola T332) at Sandown.

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