Taupo Historic Grand Prix
New Zealand Clean Sweep and Lap Record for Michael Lyons
Visiting UK driver Michael Lyons (Lola T400) roared to an SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series clean sweep at the annual Taupo Historic GP on the weekend of 18-19 January, the series’ second meeting of the 2019-2020 season.
After claiming pole 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 race on Saturday afternoon, Lyons went on to win the two Sunday races, all from fellow young gun and series leader, Michael Collins (McRae GM1) from Christchurch.
Photos Fast Company/Graham Hughes
“Not a bad weekend,” was how Lyons, whose father Frank and mother Judy, were also competing, summed up his perfect start to what for him and his parents is the start of a three-round ‘holiday’ for the keen historic F1 and F5000 racing family from Essex.
David Banks (Talon MR1) placed third in the first race on Saturday ahead of former series title holder Brett Willis in his debut drive in his new Lola T332 and local F5000 category stalwart Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400).
Michael Lyons leads Michael Collins, the visiting Brit’s only real challenger
Michael Dwyer (Lola T400) was out of the race early after contact with another car, as were Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) with a broken half shaft, Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) when his left rear wheel worked loose, and Frank Lyons (Lola T330) when an air cleaner element caught fire. Expat Warren Briggs was quick in Stu Lush’s Lola T332 in practise but was forced to sit out the race after a universal joint broke late in the morning’s qualifying session.
Grant Martin (Talon MR1A) got the better of series newcomer Kevin Ingram (Lola 332) in Sunday’s final
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 race tracks, working his way through the field to claim a fighting third place in the second race on Sunday morning, then fourth – behind a determined Grant Martin in his Talon MR1A – in Sunday’s 10-lap feature race.
Class A winner Tony Roberts in the high winged McLaren M10A