LYONS ROARS TO F5000 CLEAN SWEEP AT TAUPŌ HISTORIC GP
2019/20 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
Rnd 2 Taupō Historic Grand Prix meeting
Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park
Sat-Sun Jan 18-19 2020
Visiting UK driver Michael Lyons (Lola T400) roared to an SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series clean sweep on the second day of competition at the annual Taupō Historic GP classic car race meeting today.
After claiming pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning then smashing category stalwart Ken Smith’s F5000 class lap record on the way to a dominant win in the first SAS Autoparts MSC F5000 class race on Saturday afternoon, Lyons went on to win the other two races today, both again from fellow young gun – and Rnd 1 2019/20 series winner - Michael Collins (McRae GM1) from Christchurch.
“Not a bad weekend,” was how Lyons, whose father Frank and mother Judy, were also competing in the SAS Autoparts MSC series races, summed up his perfect start to what for he and his parents is the start of a three-round ‘busman’s holiday’ for the keen historic F1 and F5000 racing family from Essex.
Namesake Michael Collins (McRae GM1) edged ahead of Lyons at the start of the second race of the weekend, but that was as close as anyone got to unseat Lyons, the pair annexing the top two steps of the podium in all three races.
Third in the first race of the weekend went to David Banks (Talon MR1) from former series title holder Brett Willis (Lola T332) and local F5000 category stalwart Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400).
Series newcomer, and former New Zealand Formula Ford champion, Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) enjoyed one of his most competitive weekends since his return to the country’s motor racinf tracks, however, working his way through the field to claim a fighting third place in the second race, then fourth – behind a determined Grant Martin – in the feature race today.
Ingram ran comfortably in third early before Martin pressed his advantage to get past and go on to claim the final step on the podium behind Lyons and Collins.
Shayne Windleburn was again strong in the 10-laps feature final, ending up fifth after catching and eventually finding a way past David Banks on the fifth lap then inheriting fifth place when Brett Willis (Lola T332) slowed and retired to the pits with a recurrence of a gear selection issue which also forced him out of the second SAS Autoparts MSC series race in the morning,
David Banks soldiered on to finish sixth, again struggling for rear end grip, while seventh was expat Kiwi Warren Briggs driving Stu Lush’s Lola T332.
UK-based businessman Briggs, who is originally from Ashburton, and has raced extensively in the Historic F1 and Can-Am categories in the United States, qualified 8th quickest before a universal broke late in the session, meaning he missed Saturday’s race altogether.
He also only made it three laps into the second race on Sunday morning when he tangled with another car through Turn 2 and punctured a rear tyre.
Keen to actually finish at least one of the races on his NZ debut this weekend, he circulated cleanly in a mid-field battlepack with David Banks and Aaron Burson and looked set to cross the finish line in 8th place until Burson locked a wheel under brakes off the back straight as he tried to pass David Banks which gifted 7th place to Warren Briggs.
Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A) enjoyed a Michael Lyons-like record in the Class A race-within-a-race for older, pre-1972 cars. Roberts finished a weekend-best 7th in the second race of the weekend, beating fellow Class A competitor Frank Karl (McLaren M10B) three times and fellow McLaren driver Tim Rush (McLaren M22) twice.
Come the longer (10 lap) feature final, however, and Rush put in one of his best SAS Autoparts MSC series drives to date to not only catch and eventually find away past Roberts, but also to gradually pull away and cross the line in 11th place.
1. Michael Lyons (Lola T400) 1:24.179
2. Michael Collins (McRae GM1) 1:25.835
3. Grant Martin (Talon MR1A) 1:27.218
4. Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) 1:27.713
5. Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) 1:28.233
6. David Banks (Talon MR1)1:29.358
7. Codie Banks (Lola T332) 1:30.036
8. Warren Briggs (Lola T332) 1:30.296
9. Brett Willis (Lola T332) 1:30.558
10. Mark Dwyer (Lola T400) 1:31.292
11. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) 1:32.728
12. Frank Lyons (Lola T330) 1:33.852
13. Tim Rush (McLaren M22) 1:35.599
14. Tony Roberts McLaren M10A) 1:36.168
15. Glenn Richards (Lola T400) 1:36.567
16. Frank Karl (Mclarne M10B) 1:36.986
17. Judy Lyons (Begg FM5) 2:04.206
Race 1 (Sat 8 laps)
1. Michael Lyons (Lola T400) 8 laps
2. Michael Collins (McRae GM1) +1.339
3. David Banks (Talon MR1) +24.576
4. Brett Willis (Lola T332) +25.086
5. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) +26.523
6. Codie Banks (Lola T332) +26.902
7. Grant Martin (Talon MR1A) +28.932
8. Tony Roberts McLaren M10A) +45.221
9. Frank Karl (Mclaren M10B) +56.237
10. Tim Rush (McLaren M22) +1;07.848
11. Judy Lyons (Begg FM5) + 1 lap.
12. Glenn Richards (Lola T400) + 2 laps
DNF: Frank Lyons, Mark Dwyer, Kevin Ingram, Aaron Burson.
DNS: Warren Briggs.
Race 2 8 laps Sunday am
1. Michael Lyons 8 laps
2. Michael Collins +4.510
3. Kevin Ingram +26.914
4. Grant Martin +37.527
5. David Banks +39.280
6. Shayne Windelburn +39.595
7. Tony Roberts +1:03.287
8. Aaron Burson +1:03.480
9. Tim Rush +1:06.055
10. Frank Lyons +1:27.598
11. Frank Karl +1:31.801
12. Judy Lyons +2 Laps
DNF. Brett Willis, Glenn Richards, Warren Briggs, Codie Banks
Race 3 Taupō Historic GP 10 laps Sun pm
1. Michael Lyons 10 laps
2. Michael Collins +9.605
3. Grant Martin +17.948
4. Kevin Ingram +24.233
5. Shayne Windelburn +39.043
6. David Banks +46.340
7. Warren Briggs +46.815
8. Aaron Burson +48.086
9. Glenn Richards +49.307
10. Codie Banks +51.189
11. Tim Rush +1:20.945
12. Tony Roberts +1:22.785
13. Frank Lyons +1:23.155
14. Frank Karl +1:31.094
15. Judy Lyons + 2 laps
DNF: Brett Willis
2019/20 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series
Rnd 1: 16-17 Nov 2019 – The Sound MG Classic, Circuit Chris Amon Manfeild Feilding NZ.
Rnd 2: 18-19 Jan 2020 – Taupō Historic Grand Prix - Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupō NZ.
Rnd 3: 1-2 Feb 2020 - Skope Classic - Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna Christchurch NZ.
Rnd 4: 15 -16 Feb 2020 - Southland Car Club Classic Speedfest Teretonga Invercargill NZ.
Rnd 5: 21-22 Mar 2020 – HRC Legends of Speed Hampton Downs Waikato NZ.
You can follow the series on Facebook at F5000 New Zealand or on the NZ F5000 Association's website www.F5000.co.nz.