2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival #2
ROUND 4 REVIEW
DAY 1 REPORT
SMITH WINS AGAIN BUT PROCTOR SHOWS HIS HAND
MSC NZ F5000 series super-vet Ken Smith (Lola T332) remained unbeaten on the first day of racing at the second Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival historic motor racing meeting at Hampton Downs this afternoon, but not before rival Clark Proctor (March 73A/1) showed his hand.
Proctor again shadowed Smith in qualifying in the morning, grabbed an early if ultimately ill-fated lead off the rolling start and - after tripping over himself and losing four places - set the fastest race lap as he stormed back through the field to claim a hard-won third.
" Yes," the high-profile Auckland all-rounder said of what turned out to be an entertaining - and for the first time over the two Gulf Oil weekends - 100% incident-free MSC race. "We've been playing around with springs and bits and pieces trying to find that little bit that Ken has got over us and to be four-tenths quicker than him and get the fastest lap shows we are obviously getting somewhere."
Smith was still quicker in qualifying - coincidentally by four-tenths - but Proctor got the better drive off the rolling start and drove round the outside of Smith to take the lead on the run to Turn 2.
Smith wrested the lead back off Proctor on the left-right run over the hill from Turn 2 to 3 though, then Proctor lost one then two more places before the end of the lap as he bogged down out of Turn 5 then carried too much speed into the final corner (which his company, Metalman, owns the naming rights to.)
"I chose to leave it in third gear but didn’t carry enough speed through five and bogged down, which let Steve Ross get up on me, then going into Metalman I probably got a little bit keen trying to protect my position and caught myself out in the marbles."
Proctor kept his car on the track, but by the time he had sorted out 'a series of tank slappers,' Ross, Greg Thornton (Surtees TS11). Paul Zazryn (LolaT332) and David Banks (Talon MR1) had all got past.
With Proctor out of the way Smith was left to manage his lead from the front, easing ahead and controlling the distance back to Ross until the chequered flag came out.
Before the weekend the evergreen veteran said his goal this weekend was to set a new class and outright track lap record. But today was not the day.
"Not in this heat," he said. "Maybe tomorrow. Depending how hot it gets."
With Smith and Ross out front Greg Thornton held third until he was first slowed then eventually stopped by a gearbox issue which saw his Surtees TS11 jumping out of gear under braking.
With Thornton out and Proctor back up to third, Paul Zazryn and David Banks circulated quickly and consistently in fourth and fifth respectively with Class A standout Alan Dunkley spending the early laps in sixth in front of Alastair Russell (McRae GM1 ) and the three-car battle pack of Aaron Burson (Talon MR1/A) and visiting Australian driver Peter Brennan and Brett Willis in their Lola T330s.
Willis was happy just to have a car to drive this weekend after he was involved in a four-car collision in the feature MSC F5000 series race at Hampton Downs last weekend and got quicker and quicker as the race went on, starting 12th but getting the better of his race-long battle with Brennan to cross the line ninth.
Going even quicker this weekend, meanwhile, was David Banks, the Auckland driver qualifying sixth quickest with his fastest ever lap round the 2.6km Hampton Downs circuit (1.02.479) then circulating in the low 1/02s in the race
"It's just laps " he said, referring to the extra mileage he is gaining at events this year in the historic Formula Ford he has recently bought. " The Formula Ford is helping me do more laps and I more I do the more comfortable I get with both cars."
"I was doing 1.11s when I started her and now I'm into the twos so I'm rapt, I couldn't be happier."
Further back in the field, Alastair Russell (McRae GM1) finally managed to find a way past giant-killing series' young gun Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) after a race-long dice for sixth, while Calven Bonney in the New Zealand-built Begg 018 spent the race working past Peter Burson (McRae GM1) then Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A).
DAY 2 REPORT
SMITH'S CLEAN-SWEEP REWARDED WITH SPECIAL EVENT TITLE
Kiwi super-vet Ken Smith (Lola T332) has earned yet another motor racing accolade, winning the twin Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival historic motor racing meetings' 'Formula 5000 World Series' title with a six-race clean-sweep.
The title was created as part of the organisers' desire to attract as many race-ready Formula 5000 cars to the meeting as possible with Smith a worthy first recipient with a perfect 288 points.
Fellow former MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series champion Steve Ross (McRae GM1) was second with 219 points, visiting Australian driver Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) third with 184.
Smith, the 73-year-old from Auckland contesting his 47th consecutive season of national level motor racing in New Zealand, completed his two-event clean-sweep the same way he started, winning both Sunday races at the second Gulf Oil/Howden Ganley F5000 Festival meeting very much as he liked.
In the eight lap prelim race in the morning he led home fellow front-row starter Clark Proctor (March 73A/1), Steve Ross, Paul Zazryn and Brett Willis (Lola T330), while in the 15-lap feature held in even hotter conditions in the afternoon he won from Ross - after Proctor stopped with gearbox issues - Willis, UK-based series regular Greg Thornton (Surtees TS11), Zazryn and David Banks (Talon MR1).
After Proctor set the quickest race lap in the weekend's first MSC F5000 series race on Saturday, Smith was again fastest in both Sunday races, though even his best times were well off the qualifying pace he set at the first festival meeting.
"It was just too hot and the track was too slippery," Smith there. "The time's there, we'll just have to wait for another day."
Big mover in the feature race was Brett Willis, the Rotorua driver claiming the final podium spot behind Smith and Ross after a stellar drive in a car which had to have extensive repairs after an unfortunate four-car crash in the feature race at the first festival meeting.
Willis got better and better as the weekend went on and had to find a way past both Paul Zazryn and Greg Thornton to get to third.
The other big improver amongst the regular MSC series runners, Aucklander David Banks, had a relatively lonely run to the flag to finish sixth in his Talon MR1, but behind him Russell Greer (Lola T332), Australian visitor Peter Brennan (Lola T330), Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) and Calven Bonney (Begg 018) entertained the large crowd with a race-long four-way battle for seventh.
Series young gun Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) again did a giant-killing job in the oldest (high-wing) car in the field in the morning race to split Brennan and Greer for tenth only to suffer another half-shaft failure and be an early retirement in the feature race.
Aaron Burson (Talon MR1) was another to struggle with half-shaft breakages, while his father Peter Burson (McRae GM1) pulled out of the feature with an engine issue.
Balancing the ledger was Stuart Lush (McRae GM1), the former series regular deciding to enter the feature race after only intending to have his car at the track on display and for demonstrations. He looked like he had never been away to finish the feature race in 12th position.
The fight for the 2014/15 MSC crown then heads south for the penultimate round at the annual Skope Classic meeting over the Feb 7/8 weekend then back north to Manfeild for the final at the 2015 New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild the weekend after.
1. Ken Smith (Lola T332) 1.00.063
2. Clark Proctor (March 73A/1) 1.00.460
3. Steve Ross (McRae GM1) 1.00.761
4. Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) 1.01.880
5. Greg Thornton (Surtees TS11) 1.02.417
6. David Banks (Talon MR1) 1.02.479
7. Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) 1.02.763
8. Alastair Russell (McRae GM1) 1.02.771
9. Aaron Burson (Talon MR1/A) 1.03.142
10. Peter Brennan (Lola T330) 1.03.217
11. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 1.03.420
12. Brett Willis (Lola T330) 1.003.477
13. Greg Thornton (Chevron B24/28) 1.03.901
14. David Abbott (Lola T430) 1.05.854
15. Shane Windelburn (Lola T400)1.05.122
16. Peter Burson (McRae GM1) 1.05.949
17. Robs Lamplough (BRM P180 F1) 1.07. 780
18. Calven Bonney (Begg 018) 1.08.021
19. Grant Clearwater (McLaren M10A/B) 1.08.628
20. Poul Christie (McLaren M10B) 1.09.242
21.Tony Roberts (McLaren M10B) no time
Race 1 (Sat) 8 laps
1. Ken Smith 8.15.270
2. Steve Ross +1.494
3. Clark Proctor +2.133
4. Paul Zazryn +12.080
5. David Banks +14.028
6, Alastair Russell +18.414
7. Alan Dunkley +20.749
8. Aaron Burson +21.339
9. Brett Willis +21.966
10. Peter Brennan +25.047
11. Russell Greer +38.454
12. Shayne Windelburn +39.062
13. David Abbott +42.974
14. Calven Bonney +43.267
15. Tony Roberts +49.224
16. Peter Burson +49.757
17. Grant Clearwater +1.10.820
18. Robs Lamplough +1 lap
19. Poul Christie +1 lap
DNF: Greg Thornton 5 laps
Race 2 (Sun) 8 laps
1. Ken Smith 08:11.732
2. Clark Proctor +04.700
3. Steve Ross 05.067
4. Paul Zazryn +10.236
5. Brett Willis +12.678
6. Greg Thornton +13.157
7. David Banks +15.221
8. Alastair Russell +19.521
9. Peter Brennan +25.492
10. Alan Dunkley +26.883
11. Russell Greer +28.951
12. Shayne Windelburn +31.783
13. David Abbott +53.875
14. Peter Burson +54.279
15. Calven Bonney +54.76
16. Tony Roberts +01:07.854
17. Grant Clearwater +1 lap
18. Poul Christie +1 lap
DNF: Aaron Burson
DNS: Robs Lamplough
Race 3 (Sun) Feature 15 laps
1. Ken Smith 15:25.894
2. Steve Ross +02.874
3. Brett Willis +15.065
4. Greg Thornton +16.643
5. Paul Zazryn +19.467
6. David Banks +30.265
7. Russell Greer +54.585
8. Peter Brennan +56.796
9. Shayne Windelburn +57.536
10. Calven Bonney +58.536
11. David Abbott +1 lap
12. Stuart Lush +1 lap
13. Tony Roberts +1 lap
14. Robs Lamplough +1 lap
15. Grant Clearwater +1 lap
16. Poul Christie +2 laps
DNF: Alastair Russell, Peter Burson, Clark Proctor, Alan Dunkley, Aaron Burson
Rnd 5: Feb 6-7 2015 Skope Classic, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch, New Zealand
Rnd 6: Feb 12-15 2015 The NZIGP/Manfeild Trust/MSNZ/TRS Manfeild, Feilding, New Zealand
SERIES' ORIGINALS BACK BEHIND THE F5000 WHEEL
As part of the celebration of the Formula 5000 category at the fourth round of the 2014/15 MSC NZ F5000 series at the second Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival meeting at Hampton Downs over the Auckland Anniversary weekend, a number of category and Tasman Series originals got back behind the wheel.
Taking up the opportunity were Australians Warwick Brown and Bruce Allison, Teddy Pilette from Belgium, Kiwis Graeme Lawrence and Dexter Dunlop.
Also out in the demo session on Saturdaywas Nick Gethin, the son of the late Peter Gethin, a driving contempory and teammate of Brown and Pilette.
Brown is a former Tasman Series champion (1975) and Australia and New Zealand Grand Prix winner who also raced in the United States and made one Formula 1 start, in the United States Grand Prix in 1976.
He was reunited with the Lola T430, model number HU2, he used to win the Australian Grand Prix at Sydney's Oran Park circuit in 1977. The car is one of two T430 models owned by MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series regular David Abbott from Christchurch.
The other T430, HU1, was driven by Pilette. This is Abbott's regular car and was driven by Pilette in period.
The other driver to be reunited with one of their original cars was 1970 Tasman Cup champion Graeme Lawrence who did his laps in the T332 Lola now owned and raced by Russell Greer.
Lawrence used the car to finish second behind Warwick Brown in the 1975 Tasman Series.
The other Australian category original, Queenslander Bruce Allison, also drove a Lola T332 in period and got to drive compatriot Paul Zazryn's T332 on Saturday.
The other Kiwi, Dexter Dunlop, drove a McRae GM1, as he did in period, while Nick Gethin drove the Chevron B24/28, now owned and driven by compatriot Greg Thornton, which Peter Gethin used to claim his historic victory against a combined field of Formula 5000 and Formula 1 cars at Great Britain's Brand Hatch circuit in 1973.
The MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney's Specialized Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide.