Fast Company/Jim Lester


Australian pair Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24/28 #2) and Tim Berryman (Lola T332) lead a warm up lap at MG hairpin


Australia’s Phillip Island circuit proved the perfect venue for the final round of this season’s SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series over the March 10-11 weekend.
‘This place is just off the scale,” said Kiwi racer Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) after a weekend best second place finish in the feature length 12-lap F5000 category final on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s just so different to what we have at home. And it’s hard to pick one bit that I like more than another, the whole place is spectacular. For a start, at almost 4.5 kms around the lap is a lot longer and it’s got lots of elevation changes which you don’t see from watching the V8s when they are here. That, and all the fast, flowing high entry speed corners means it’s completely different to the other tracks we race at.
“The fact that you’re so close to the sea is also one of the things I like about the place. At any other track all you see down the start/finish straight is the car in front of you. Here, the track dips as you pass the pits, then you crest a rise and then all you see is Bass Strait!”
The circuit, on Phillip Island, due south of Melbourne, could well have been built for the robust, stock-block V8-powered wings-and-slicks Formula 5000 single-seaters.
Weekend pace-setter, former Australian Formula 3 race winner Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24/28), was consistently the fastest man at the meeting, qualifying quickest before going on to win all five category races very much as he pleased and only conceding the fastest race lap once – to compatriot Tim Berryman (Lola T332) in the second race of the weekend on Saturday morning.
Tweedie was the only one to break the 1.27.00 barrier (with his pole time in the Saturday morning qualifying session of 1.26.89251. but both he and Berryman ran easily in the 1.27.00s in the races.
Both also beat the two Formula 1 cars – the March 741 of former V8 Supercars ace John Bowe and the Ferrari 156/85 of Sydney driver Guido Belgiorno-Nettis – which joined the F5000 field for the first race on Sunday morning.
By way of comparison the MotoGP lap record round the Grand Prix circuit is a 1.27.833 set by Italian Jorge Lorenzo, and the current Supercars one - set in 2017 by Kiwi Scott McLaughlin in a Team Penske DJR Ford Falcon -  is a 1.31.2142
Like the other four races (a 4-lapper ‘sprint’ on Friday then two five lappers on Saturday, and a third five lapper on Sunday morning) the 12-lap 2018 Phillip Island Classic on Sunday afternoon was another Tweedie master class, the Sydney stock broker leading all 12 laps.
Until the first lap of the feature final Berryman had tucked in behind to head the rest of the 19-strong field home.  In the final however, he was forced to pit to retether his car’s fire extinguisher and could only make it back up to 10th place before the chequered flag came out. That left the way open for Aaron Burson to take second place ahead of fellow Kiwis Ian Clements, Tony Galbraith (both Lola T332s) and David Arrowsmith (Lotus).
After working through gear selection then electrical issues on Friday and Saturday Arrowsmith was back to his giant-killing best in his older Class A car on Sunday, winning an entertaining battle with fellow Kiwi Tony Galbraith for seventh spot in the morning 5-lapper, then finishing a weekend-best fifth – after another race-long battle, this time with Australian ace Dean Camm (Chevron B24) in the feature final.
Behind Camm was another entertaining battle for track and race position, eventually decided in the favour of Kiwi Brett Willis (Lola T330) from Aussie Frank Harris in his Chevron B24). 
Category original Charles Talbot (Lola T332) rounded out the feature race finishers with just three starters failing to finish. Kiwi Grant Martin finally called time on his weekend when he ended up with just one usable gear (4th) while Australian Michael Glynn (Elfin MR8) had a wild ride exiting Turn 1 when a wheel bearing collapsed and pitched his car off the track and into a barrier.
The VHRR’s annual Phillip Island Classic meeting hosted the final round of this season’s SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series. The next outing for members of New Zealand’s Formula 5000 Association is to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion meeting at the Laguna Seca circuit in northern California in August where they will get to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Formula 5000 category with fellow owners, drivers and fans from the United States and Europe.
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)
Race 4
(5 laps Sun am)                     
1. Tom Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 7:24.6503
2. Tim Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 7:25.7314 
3. John Bowe (VIC, March 741 F1) 7:30.9333 
4. Guido Belgiorno-Nett (NSW, Ferrari (T) 156/85 F1 7:39.6481 
5. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 7:54.2889  
6. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 7:55.2076
7. David Arrowsmith (NZ, Lotus 70B) 8:08.4936 
8. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola T332) 8:08.7297 
9.  Grant Martin (NZ, Talon MR1A) 8:10.8879 
10. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 8:18.5032 
11. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 8:18.7669
12. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren M10B) 8:21.3331
13. Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24) 8:31.0037
14. Michael Glynn (VIC, Elfin MR8-BC) 8:31.0763
15. Rodney Carroll (NSW, Lola T140) 8:37.0324   
16. Adrian Akhurst (SA, Lola T332C) 8:37.1727 
17. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 8:42.2358
18. Frank Karl (NZ, McLaren M10B) 7:25.1815 
19. Maxwell Pearson (QLD, Elfin MR5) 8:04.2037 
DNF. David Banks, David Crabtree, Robert Splatt
Race 5
(Sun pm 12 Laps)                      
1. Thomas Tweedie (NSW, Chevron B24/28) 18:01.6912 1:27.7985*
2. Aaron Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 18:53.2066
3. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 18:54.0784
4. Tony Galbraith (NZ, Lola T332) 19:00.0037
5. David Arrowsmith (NZ, Lotus 70B) 19:30.3419
6. Dean Camm (VIC, Chevron B24) 19:30.8353
7. Brett Willis (NZ, Lola T330) 19:38.9779
8. Frank Harris (VIC, Chevron B24) 19:39.6913
9. David Hardman (VIC, McLaren M10B) 18:06.6764
10. Timothy Berryman (NSW, Lola T332) 18:14.2185
11. Charles Talbot (VIC, Lola T332) 18:59.6657
DNF. Grant Martin, Michael Glynn, Robert Splatt
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