Australian driver Andrew Robson (Lola T332) got the better of pole-sitting Kiwi Ian Clements (Lola T332) in the first F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series race of the season at the Shannon's Sandown Historic meeting at Melbourne's Sandown International Motor Raceway.
Christchurch man Clements, the defending Tasman Cup Revival Series champion, was three-quarters of a second quicker than Robson in qualifying this morning, but the local man got a better start, passed Clements round the outside through the first turn and crossed the line just under half a second in front.
Behind them the large Kiwi contingent entertained the crowd with some close and spirited diving, with Murray Sinclair (Lola T332) and Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) disputing third place and Tony Richards and Stan Redmond (Lola T332s) running line astern in fifth and sixth.
Windelburn managed to get in front of Sinclair but one stage, but the latter returned the favour soon after to claim the final step on the podium from Windelburn, Richards, Redmond and Aaron Burson (Talon MR1A).
McRae GM1 driver Stuart Lush held seventh early on in the proceedings only to slow and eventually retire from the race with an oil pressure problem. And series newcomer Roger Townshend (Lola T142) was also forced to slow and eventually stop with an overheating problem.
The first of two days of racing at the annual Shannon Sandown Historic meeting attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd which enjoyed a full day of fast-paced classic car action spearheaded by the 16-strong Formula 5000 field.
A special feature of the day was a parade in which meeting patron John Goss got to do some demonstration laps in his old Lola T430 (now owned by New Zealander David Abbott).
Legendary New Zealand driver Ken Smith was also reunited with one of his old cars, joining the parade in the Lola T332 current owner Andrew Robson later used to win the first F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series race!
This weekend's Sandown event is one of two the New Zealand owner/drivers are set to cross the Tasman for this season, the second the annual Phillip Island Classic meeting in early March.
2006/07 F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series Rnd 1 Shannon's Sandown Historic Meeting Sandown Park Melbourne Sat/Sun Nov 11/12
1. Ian Clements Lola T332 (NZ) 1.11.2761
2. Andrew Robson Lola T332 (Aus) 1.12.1513
3. Murray Sinclair Lola T332 (NZ) 1.13.3992
4. Stan Redmond Lola T332 (NZ) 1.13.9444
5. Shayne Windelburn Lola T400 (NZ) 1.15.0769
6. Tony Richards Lola T332 (NZ) 1.15.9559
7. Aaron Burson Talon MR1A (NZ) 1.16.6970
8. David Abbott Lola T430 (NZ) 1.16.9561
9. Phillip Lewis Matich A50 (Aus) 1.17.0616
10. Stuart Lush McRae GM1 (NZ) 1.17.4002
11. Aaron Lewis Chevron B24 (Aus) 1.18.5490
12. Poul Christie Lola T190 1.18.6247
13. Robert Harborow Lola T192 (Aus) 1.19.2504
14. Roger Townshend Lola T142 (NZ) 1.20.6824
15. Kerry Anderson Lola T142 (NZ) 1.20.7271
16. John McKinlay March 73A/2 (NZ) 1.21.3465
17. Bill Hemming Elfin MR8 AC (Aus) 1.26.1312
Race 1 (8 laps)
1. Andrew Robson 9.37.0029
2. Ian Clements 9.37.3997
3. Murray Sinclair 9.49.9428
4. Shayne Windelburn 9.52.9766
5. Tony Richards 10.04.1697
6. Stan Redmond 10.046.598
7. Aaron Burson 10.184287
8. David Abbott 10.27.6868
9. Aaron Lewis 10.28.5140
10. John McKinlay 10.52.4401
11. Poul Christie 10.53.4029
12. Bill Hemming + 1 lap
13. Kerry Anderson +1 lap
14. Robert Harborow +1 lap
Rnd 1: November 11/12 2006 Sandown Park (Melbourne, Aust)
Rnd 2: January 27/28 2007 Pukekohe Park (Pukekohe, NZ)
Rnd 3: March 9-11 2007 Phillip Island (Vic, Aust)