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Smith Has Fight On His Hands In Melbourne

HISTORIC RACING CLUB/NZ FORMULA 5000 ASSOCIATION
Press release
For immediate release

* 2008//09 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
Rnd 6
2009 FORMULA 1â„¢ ING Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park
Melbourne
Australia
Thurs-Sun
March 26-29
2009

25-03-09

QUALIFYING REPORT

Smith Has Fight On His Hands In Melbourne

Champion-elect Ken Smith (Lola T430) looks like he has a fight on his hands at the final round of the 2008/09 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series at the 2009 FORMULA ING Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne's Albert Park this weekend.

In practice and qualifying yesterday it was young gun Michael Lyons (Lola T400) who was quickest, the 18-year-old son of MSC series regulars Frank and Judy Lyons going straight to the top of the times sheets.

In practice, Lyons - who has just signed a deal to compete in this year's Formula Renault UK Championship - was by far the quickest driver on the track, his best lap, a 2.00.9773 just over three seconds quicker than second placed fellow UK driver Mark Dwyer (Lola T400) and just under three-and-a-half seconds quicker than series points leader Smith (Lola T430) and four quicker than car owner David Abbott in the sister car to Smith's.

Ken James, driving an Australian-built Elfin MR8 was the best of the local drivers in fifth with Dunedin's Steve Ross the quickest of the Class A (for earlier model F5000 cars) runners in 15th position with a time of 2.12.8941

Smith, Christchurch's Tony Richards (Lola T332) and Aucklander Roger Williams (Lola T332) all went substantially faster in the 20 minute qualifying season in the afternoon, but so did Lyons, the talented youngster the only driver to break the 1.59.000 mark with a best lap (for pole position for the first race of the weekend on Saturday) of 1.58.5643.

Smith improved to second quickest with a time of 1.59.0742 with Richards not far behind on 1.59.6321 before a five second gap back to Williams (2.04.3048), seven to David Abbott (2.06.0195) and eight to Mark Dwyer (2.07.0578).

All-rounder Darcy Russell was the best of the Australian drivers in the qualifying session and will start from eighth place on the grid on Saturday after recording a best lap time in qualifying of 2.08.4369. While Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) displaced Steve Ross as quickest Class A driver with the 16th quickest time of 2.16.5936.

Leeson has his work cut out getting his car repaired before Saturday's race, having taken a wheel off his McLaren after contact with Australian driver Tony Floreani's Elfin MR5.

One of the other McLaren drivers in the field, New Zealander Tony Roberts, also struck problems in qualifying, shutting his rare M22 model's engine down when it lost oil pressure late in the session.

There was no doubting the impact of the capacity field of thundering Formula 5000 cars on the large crowd that gathered at the track to watch the action on Thursday, the spectacle new to many.

"As one of the younger commentators, was saying, these cars just weren't around in his day," said MSC Series coordinator Tony Jack." So for a lot of people the noise, the colour and the sheer number of cars - more than they ever had in their heyday - is just a total surprise."

There are two MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races on the programme at the FORMULA 1â„¢ ING Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne this weekend, the first over six laps of the 5.303km Albert Park circuit on Saturday starting at 11.25am local time and the second, over eight laps on Sunday starting at the same time.

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, Pacifica, Toll Holdings, Smith & Davies, Avon Tyres and Exide

Ends

2008//09 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series Rnd 6 2009 FORMULA 1â„¢ ING Australian Grand Prix Albert Park Melbourne Australia Thurs-Sun March 26-29
Practice
1. Michael Lyons (UK, Lola T400) 2:00.9773R
2. Mark Dwyer (UK, Lola T400) 2:04.0303
3. Ken Smith (NZ, Lola T430 HU1) 2:04.4606
4. David Abbott (NZ, Lola T430) 2:04.9904
5. Ken James (Aust, Elfin MR8) 2:05.5833
6. Andrew Robson (Aust, Lola T332) 2:06.0374
7. Roger Williams (NZ, Lola T332) 2:07.7488
8. Russell Greer (NZ, Lola T332) 2:09.2972
9. Sefton Gibb (NZ, Lola T332) 2:09.3585
10. Tony Richards (NZ, Lola T332) 2:09.9462
11. Ian Clements (NZ, Lola T332) 2:09.9959
12. Frank Lyons (UK, Lola T332) 2:10.4665
13. Aaron Burson (NZ, Talon MR1A) 2:11.6466
14. Aaron Lewis (Aust, Chevron B24) 2:12.8182
15. Steve Ross (NZ, Lola T142) 2:12.8941
16. Graham Smith (Aust, March 732A) 2:17.5568
17. Darcy Russell (Aust, Lola T330) 2:17.9783
18. John Mackinlay (NZ, March 73A/2) 2:19.2461
19. Lindsay O'Donnell (NZ, Begg FM5) 2:19.5050
20. Tony Floreani (Aust, Elfin MR5) 2:19.8394
21. Bob Harborow (Aust, Lola T192) 2:20.3376
22. Poul Christie (NZ, Lola T190) 2:22.5291
23. Bill Hemming (Aust, Elfin MR8 AC) 2:23.3707
24. Tony Roberts (NZ, McLaren M22) 2:23.7948
25. Stan Redmond Lola (NZ, T332) 2:27.0254
26. Kerry McIntosh (NZ, Begg FM2) 2:27.2657
27. Kerry Anderson (NZ, Lola T142) 2:28.0780
28. Shayne Windelburn (NZ, Lola T400) 2:31.1715
29. Bruce Leeson (USA, McLaren M10B) 2:34.7148
30. Peter Burson (NZ, McRae GM1) 2:37.6230
31. Phillip Lewis (Aust, Matich A50) 2:39.7632
32. Judy Lyons (UK, Eagle FA74) 3:07.8110

Qualifying
1. Michael Lyons 1:58.5643R
2. Ken Smith 1:59.0724
3. Tony Richards 1:59.6321
4. Roger Williams 2:04.3048
5. David Abbott 2:06.0195
6. Mark Dwyer 2:07.0578
7. Sefton Gibb 2:07.1018
8. Darcy Russell 2:08.4369
9. Tony Floreani 2:08.8609
10. Ian Clements 2:09.4866
11. Andrew Robson 2:10.7036
12. Frank Lyons 2:10.8771
13. Russell Greer 2:10.9950
14. Aaron Lewis 2:11.2267
15. Tony Roberts 2:15.6308
16. Bruce Leeson 2:16.5936
17. Steve Ross 2:16.7148
18. Stan Redmond 2:17.7100
19. Shayne Windelburn 2:18.2997
20. Graham Smith 2:18.9119
21. Bill Hemming 2:19.2055
22. Paul Christie 2:20.8844
23. Aaron Burson 2:21.8399
24. Bob Harborow 2:21.8594
25. Peter Burson 2:23.9724
26. Kerry McIntosh 2:24.7342
27. Phillip Lewis 2:27.7045
28. Kerry Anderson 2:30.4212
29. Judy Lyons 2:49.0472
30. Lindsay O'Donnell 3:45.0027
31. John Mackinlay 4:45.4299

Points after Rnd 5 of 6
1. Ken Smith (Lola T430) 397
2. Tony Richards (Lola T332) 257
3. Aaron Burson (Talon MR1A) 255
4.Ian Clements (Lola T332) 215
5. Stan Redmond (Lola T332) 209
6. Sefton Gibb (Lola T332) 177
7. Stuart Lush (McRae GM1) 110
8. Jay Esterer (McRae GM1) 100
9. Roger Williams (Lola T332) 98
10. Mark Dwyer (Lola T400) 94
11. David Abbott (Lola T430) 86
12. Bruce Leeson (McLaren M10B) 69
13. Aaron Lewis (Chevron B24) 63
14. Tony Roberts (McLaren M22) 61
15. Andrew Robson (Lola T332) 60
16. Alastair Russell (McRae GM1) 50
17. Poul Christie (Lola T190) 47
18. Hamish Patterson (Chevron B32) 38
19=.Mick Lyons (Lola T400) 34
19=. Frank Lyons (Lola T330) 34
21. Kerry Anderson (Lola T142) 29
22. Tim Rush (Begg FM4) 28
23. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 27
24. Kerry McIntosh (Begg FM2) 26
25. Lindsay O'Donnell (Begg FM5) 25
26. Steve Ross (Lola T142) 18
27. Graham Smith (March 732A) 15
28. Bill Hemming (Elfin MR8AC) 10
29. Phil Mauger (McLaren M23) 09
30=. Bob Harborow (Lola T192) 08
30=. Judy Lyons (Eagle FA74) 08
32. Tony Floreani (Elfin MR5) 07
33. Jen James (Elfin MR8) 05
34. Terry Rush (Begg FM4) 01

Class A
1. Poul Christie 391
2. Kerry Anderson 303
3. Bruce Leeson 189
4. Kerry McIntosh 174
5. Steve Ross 144
6. Tim Rush 142
7. Terry Rush 01

Calendar
Rnd 1: November 08-09 2008 Historic Sandown meeting Sandown Park Raceway (Melbourne, Aust)
Rnd 2: November 29-30 2008 Tasman Revival meeting Eastern Creek (Sydney, Aust)
Rnd 3: January 17-18 2009 Christchurch Casino Lady Wigram Trophy meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park (ChCh, NZ)
Rnd 4: January 24-25 2009 HRC Tasman Cup Revival meeting Pukekohe Park Raceway (Pukekohe, NZ)
Rnd 5: Jan 31-Feb 01 2009 HRC Taupo meeting Taupo Motorsport Park (Taupo, NZ)
Rnd 6: Mar 27-29 2009 FORMULA 1â„¢ ING Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne, Aust)

ends

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