A new car has proved just the ticket for visiting British driver Greg Thornton at the big Tasman Revival classic motor racing meeting in Sydney this weekend.

Thornton won both today's F5000 category races at Sydney Motorsport Park in his ex Stuart Lush McRae GM1 and says he couldn't be happier with his latest purchase. "I'm over the moon," he said after leading home fastest qualifier and Friday race winner Andrew Robson in the second of today's six-lap races at the Sydney Motorsport Park. "I should have bought a Kiwi car years ago!"

Thornton owns several classic racing cars but was forced to look for a new MSC NZ F5000 series mount when the ex Peter Gethin Chevron B24 and ex Sam Posey Surtees TS8 he has previously raced here were badly damaged by fire earlier this year.

Both cars are being rebuilt but Thornton didn't want to rush the job so he bought the McRae, a car he is familiar with but only got to sit in for the first time on Thursday.

The GM1, designed and built by acclaimed New Zealand driver and car designer/constructor Graham McRae, has always been a popular choice amongst MSC NZ F5000 series drivers. And now that he has driven one Thornton says he understands why. "It is very nimble, very responsive and talks to you as a driver in a way that other cars don't."

Though the weekend's races do not carry points for the 2012/13 MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, the meeting attracted a 17-strong category entry with a fairly even split of drivers from Australia and New Zealand and the balance made up Thornton from Great Britain and Eric Haga and US-based Australian Bruce Lesson from the United States.

Top local driver Andrew Smith, driving the original ex Ken Smith Lola T332, was comfortably the quickest qualifier and went on to win the meeting's first F5000 category race on Friday from Thornton and giant-killing young Kiwi Alan Dunkley in one of the early high-wing Lola T140s, but Robson was forced to retire from the lead in the first of two races today (Saturday) with a flat rear tyre, meaning he had to start the second from P13 on the grid.

That he was able to work his way back up to second place behind Thornton in just six laps proved he had the pace, but to his credit Thornton set the fastest race lap, setting up a fascinating scenario for tomorrow's 12-lap F5000 category feature.

Behind Thornton and Robson the field was fairly evenly matched with young gun Dunkley duking it out for the final poridum place with Australian Paul Zazryn (Lola T332), expat Kiwi Chris Lambden (McRae GM1), and fellow Kiwis Ian Clements, Russell Greer (both Lola T332) and Stan Redmond (Lola T333CS).

Local category stalwart Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) was second quickest in qualifying but had throttle problems in the first two races. Eric Haga and Bruce Lesson also struggled with issues in the first two races but had them sorted for the third.

The crowd favourite though?

That had to be Alan Dunkley, the young Aucklander running where no Class A (for early model cars) have run before, despite damage caused by a spinning car on Thursday forcing he, his father Paul and a small group of helpers to miss the rest of the practice sessions as they repaired the nose cone and radiator.

Brushing aside the early setback Dunkley set the fourth quickest lap time in the qualifying session on Saturday morning before finishing third in the first race, runner-up to Thornton in the second and fifth in the third.

After this weekend's non-championship round in Sydney the MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Seires resumes in January at the two NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Denny Hulme meetings at Hampton Downs in January before heading south for the annual Skope Classic meeting at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna Park in February.

1. Andrew Robson (Lola T332) 1:28.7553
2. Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) 1:31.1019
3. David Abbott (Lola T430) 1:31.6655
4. Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) 1:31.7864
5. Greg Thornton (McRae GM1)1:31.9738
6. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 1:32.2339
7. Ian Clements (Lola T332) 1:32.7127
8. Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) 1:32.8759
9. Stan Redmond (Lola T333) 1:33.3565
10. Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) 1:33.3621
11. Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) 1:33.3916
12. Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8) 1:36.1056
13. Lindsay O'Donnell (Begg FM5) 1:36.7656
14. Rod Carroll (Lola T140) 1:38.3343
15. Phil Mauger (McLaren M23 F1) 1:39.5509
16. Eric Haga (Lola T190) 1:41.5843
17. Jay Bondini (Lola T332) 1:45.2756

Race 1 (Fri 6 laps)
1. Andrew Robson 9:08.9903
2. Greg Thornton 9:15.7314
3. Alan Dunkley 9:26.9447
4. Chris Lambden 9:30.4474
5. Paul Zazryn 9:30.6675
6. Russell Greer 9:31.9548
7. Ian Clements 9:33.5357
8. Bill Hemming 9:47.4462
9. Lindsay O'Donnell 9:48.6710
10. David Abbott 9:57.4721
11. Phil Mauger 9:59.5539
12. Rod Carroll 10:00.3112
13. Jay Bondini 10:25.1200
DNF. Eric Haga, Stan Redmond Aaron Lewis Bruce Leeson.

Fastest lap: Andrew Robson 1:30.1357

Race 2 (Sat 6 laps)
1. Greg Thornton 9:16.5704
2. Alan Dunkley 9:20.5197
3. Chris Lambden 9:23.4111
4. Paul Zazryn 9:23.9656
5. Ian Clements 9:24.9776
6. Russell Greer 9:38.6667
7. Stan Redmond 9:38.8706
8. David Abbott 9:40.1687
9. Bill Hemming 9:47.4725
10. Rod Carroll 9:50.5962
11. Phil Mauger 9:58.6348
DNF. Aaron Lewis, Andrew Robson, Jay Bondini, Bruce Leeson, Eric Haga.

Fastest lap Andrew Robson 1:30.8665

Race 3 (Sat 6 laps)
1. Greg Thornton 9:14.1892
2. Andrew Robson 9:23.2945
3. Paul Zazryn 9:26.3968
4. Chris Lambden 9:30.6910
5. Alan Dunkley 9:31.2898
6. Ian Clements 9:31.6323
7. Russell Greer 9:37.5090
8. Stan Redmond 9:37.8186
9. Aaron Lewis 9:39.9789
10. Bruce Leeson 9:43.8000
11. David Abbott 9:44.9173
12. Phil Mauger 9:48.5595
13. Bill Hemming 9:50.0953
14. Lindsay O'Donnell 9:50.3617
15. Eric Haga 10:34.1020
DNF Jay Bondini

Fastest lap: Greg Thornton 1:30.8805

The hosts got their revenge in the 10-lap feature Formula 5000 final at the Tasman Revival historic motor racing meeting in Sydney on Sunday with Andrew Robson (Lola T332) topping an all-Australian podium.

Melbourne man Robson set the fastest lap time in qualifying and won the first of the big biennial event's four F5000 category races on Friday but was forced out of the second on Saturday morning by a puncture, leaving visiting British driver Greg Thornton to win that race and the next in his newly acquired McRae GM1.

Thornton also led Sunday's 10-lap final for the first three laps before his McRae's engine overheated, gifting the lead and eventual victory to Robson from fellow Victorians Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) and Chris Lambden (McRae GM1).

Lambden got an early jump on Robson off the line but Robson was back into second before the end of the first lap and Lambden was relegated to third by Paul Zazryn a lap later.

Category young gun Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) was again in the hunt early on, only to have a ball-joint in his car's gear change mechanism break. Fellow Kiwi Russell Greer was also out early, in his case becasue of a broken brake caliper.

That left two-time former MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series champion Ian Clements in fourth place ahead of an entertaining battle for fifth eventually settled in favour of David Abbott (Lola T430).

With fellow series stalwart Stan Redmond (Lola T333 CS) Abbott slowly but surely worked his way forward, starting 13th and pipping Redmond - who had been eighth at the end of the first lap and got to fifth by lap six - for fifth on the final lap.

The other big mover in Sunday's race was US-based Australian Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) who was ninth at the end of the first lap but who got as high as fifth mid-race before being reeled in and shuffled back to seventh by Redmond and Abbott.

The focus of the MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series now returns to New Zealand with the next two rounds at the NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Denny Hulme meetings at Hampton Downs in January. The series then heads south for the annual Skope Classic meeting at Christchurch's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway at Ruapuna Park in February.

Race 4 (Sunday) 10 Laps
1. Andrew Robson (Lola T332) 15:39.6796
2. Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) 15:49.9930
3. Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) 15:57.9440
4. Ian Clements (Lola T332) 15:58.3667
5. David Abbott (Lola T430) 15:59.8065
6. Stan Redmond (Lola T333 CS) 16:00.3078
7. Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) 16:00.6481
8. Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8)16:00.9047
9. Rod Carroll (Lola T140) 16:16.3586
10. Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) 16:20.2618
11. Jay Bondini (Lola T332) 15:44.6814
12. Eric Haga (Lola T10) 17:03.8045
DNF Greg Thornton, Alan Dunkley, Russell Greer

2012/13 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series Calendar
Rnd 1: Aug 31-Sept 02 2012 Muscle Car Masters meeting Sydney Motorsport Park (Eastern Creek) Sydney (full circuit)

Rnd 2: Oct 26-28 2012 Wigram Revival meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch

Rnd 3: Nov 23-25 2012 Tasman Revival meeting Sydney Motorsport Park (Eastern Creek) Sydney (non-points)

Rnd 4: Jan 18-20 2013 NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Denny Hulme meeting x 1 Hampton Downs Auckland

Rnd 5: Jan 25-27 2013 NZ Festival of Motor Racing - Denny Hulme meeting x 2 Hampton Downs Auckland

Rnd 6: Feb 01-03 2013 Skope Classic meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch (provisional)

Rnd 7: Feb 15-17 2013 Classic Speedfest meeting Teretonga Park Invercargill (provisional)

Photos Fast Company/Alex Mitchell.

Andrew Robson (#63) on his way to winning Sunday's race.

Young Kiwi Alan Dunkley qualified fourth quickest in the repaired Lola T140 before going on to finish second in the first race on Saturday.

All-Australian podium in the final Formula 5000 race at the Tasman Revival meeting in Sydney with (from left) second-placed Paul Zazryn, winner Andrew Robson and third-placed Chris Lambden.

Chris Lambden (McRae GM1 # 27) leads Paul Zazryn (Lola 332 # 24) and Russell Greer (Lola T332 # 14) into the hairpin at Sydney Motorpsort Park.

Chris Lambden (#27) leading Paul Zazryn (#24), Alan Dunkley and Ian Clements.

Visiting British driver Greg Thornton (McRae GM1 #22) leading Alan Dunkley (Lola T140 #42), Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) and Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) in the first F5000 race at the Tasman Revival meeting at the Sydney Motorsport Park.