Fast Company/Jim Lester


One of the Quick Kiwis at the meeting so far is Aaron Burson (McRae GM1)


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
2017/18 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
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)
For more information about the 2017/2018 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail on ross@fastcompany.co.nz