|Saturday August 31
Sydney youngster Tom Tweedie has got his Formula 5000 career off to a blazing start, by defeating the cream of NZ F5000 stars on the opening day of the 2013/14 F5000 Australia Cup, being run at the Muscle Car Masters, at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Poleman Tweedie was beaten away from the start by Auckland gun Clark 'Metalman' Proctor, with NZ legend Ken Smith in close attendance.
For lap after lap, Tweedie's red Chevron B24 poked and prodded either side of Proctor's familiar yellow March, only for the door to be firmly shut.
It looked as though Proctor had all the answers until, with just over a lap to go, Tweedie squeezed through, to take a stunning F5000 series debut win. In his attempts to keep the youngster at bay, Proctor set the race's fastest lap - at 1m27.8312s. Smith (Lola T332) kept a watching brief throughout for a strong third, ahead of Aucklander Andrew Higgins (Lola T400), Melbourne Matich A50-mounted Bryan Sala, and Aaron Lewis' similar car.
The series debut of Richard Davison - father of V8 Supercar stars Will and Alex - got off to a tough start with what appeared to be an electronic failure early in the race, in the former Teddy Yip/Alan Jones Lola.
Tweedie, who has come via Australian F3 and Porsche Carrera Cup, before today's debut in F5000, was thrilled: "I certainly didn't expect to win like that, first up," he grinned. "Racing a car like that against some of the regular pace-setters in F5000 is a huge buzz itself. Clark got a great start and it was pretty late in the race before the opportunity came to get past. It was tremendous, hard, but clean racing. Fantastic."
The field will contest a second qualifying heat on Sunday morning before the afternoon's feature race.
Sydney youngster Tom Tweedie.
|Sunday September 1
Sydney debutant Tom Tweedie has completed a clean sweep of the opening round of the 203/14 F5000 Australia Cup, backing up his two heat wins with a third victory, in the F5000 feature event at the Muscle Car Masters, at Sydney Motorsport Park.
With kiwi Clark Proctor side-lined after blowing his engine in the morning heat, it was left to ageless kiwi star Ken Smith (Lola T332) to take it to the young man over 40 years his junior.
Smith (71) was a champion in the original Formula 5000 era, continued to race open wheelers without a break since, and returned to the category when it re-emerged as a historic formula. He has since won three NZ MSC Formula 5000 championships - illustrating perfectly that experience is the perfect counter to age!
However, it was 25 year-old series debutant Tweedie (Chevron B24) who prevailed. After an early career in Australian F3 and Carrera Cup, his transition to the 550hp 5-litre V8-powered Australian Grand Prix cars of the 70s has been seamless.
Third in the race went to the Matich A50 driven by Melbournian Bryan Sala, who found extra pace after the morning qualifying heat, to edge out Aucklander Andrew Higgins (Lola T400).
Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) completed the top five. First 'Class A' (pre 1970) car home, in a best-ever sixth, was the Lola T140 of Adelaide veteran John Bryant.
The next round of the series will support the V8 Supercar Sandown 500, on September 13-15, in Melbourne.
The F5000 Australia Cup is supported by Gibson Freight and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.
Tweedie heads Smith, Higgins and Sala into Turn 2.
Image courtesy John Morris/Mpix
|Formula 5000 Australia Cup points after the opening round: