The 35th annual MG Classic meeting commenced at Feilding’s Circuit Manfield Chris Amon on the 14-15 November, and defending MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series titleholder, Michael Collins, started the 2020/21 series finishing first behind the wheel of the Leda LT21/GM1.
Race One – Saturday 14 November (6 laps)
The 24-year-old Michael Collins was driving the well-known Kiwi racing driver, car designer, and constructor Graham McRae’s unmistakable hot-pink STP-liveried Leda LT27/GM1 001.
Collins was the fastest during qualifying and ended up victorious during the first race of the 2020/21 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 series. Kevin Ingram, who was behind the wheel of the Lola T332, was the second-fastest qualifier and ended up finishing the first race in second place behind Michael Collins.
Race 1 (Sat pm 6 laps) Results
|1. Michael Collins (Leda LT27/GM1)||6m29.55|
|2. Kevin Ingram (Lola T332)||+2.63s|
|3. Anna Collins (Leda LT27)||+24.43s|
|4. Russell Greer (Lola T332||+26.13s|
|5. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400)||+30.58s|
|6. Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A)||+36.22s|
|7. Frank Karl (McLaren M10B)||+37.01s|
|8. Glenn Richards (Lola T400)||+40.50s|
|9. Tim Rush (McLaren M22)||+44.68s|
|10. Toby Annabell (McLaren M10B)||+59.47s|
|11. Codie Banks (Lola T332)||+2 laps|
|DNF. David Banks (Talon MR1/A (half shaft broke) +2 laps|
|DNS Tony Galbraith (Lola T332) engine|
Race 2 – Sunday 15 November (6 laps rolling handicap start)
Race 2 was planned to run under the order of the driver’s best lap times of the weekend, but for the new handicap initiative, that decision was reversed. They instead split the field into six timed groups, with each flagged off rolling start style.
Early race leader, Toby Annabell, a newcomer to the SAS Autoparts MSC series and making their debut at the MG Classic meeting, was forced into early retirement due to fuel issues on his Class A McLaren M10B.
Other Class A racers Tony Roberts in his high-wing McLaren M10A and Frank Karl in his McLaren M10B, both became race leads before they were simply overpowered by the determined Windelburn. He was immediately followed by Tim Rush behind the wheel of the Class A McLaren, with Russell Greer in the Lola T332 coming in third.
Collins however, was still happy with the race:
“You can’t win every race you start, ?and I think it’s a good thing that the committee that runs the series is at least looking at – and now obviously trying out – some different starting formats. I know I was trying fairly hard to make up the deficit they gave me.”
Windelburn was just ecstatic, both for winning the handicap race earlier in the day, and also for finishing second to Michael Collins in the feature final.
“I actually prefer the longer races because I get more time driving the car. And the more time I get behind the wheel the better I seem to go. Obviously I didn’t help my case by missing qualifying and having to start the first race from the back of the grid, but my son Joshua had a big running thing on at his school on Friday which obviously neither he nor I wanted him to miss, so we drove down on Saturday morning. We still got here in time for the race on Saturday and getting the win this morning was a real bonus.”Shayne Windelburn
Race 2 Results
|1. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400)||7m14.00|
|2. Tim Rush (McLaren M22)||+3.32s|
|3. Russell Greer (Lola T332)||+4.39s|
|4. Michal Collins (Leda LT27/GM1)||+4.70s|
|5. Kevin Ingram (Lola T332)||+7.06s|
|6. Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A)||+9.34s|
|7. Anna Collins (Leda LT24)||+18.09s|
|8. Glenn Richards (Lola T400)||+31.39s|
|9. Codie Banks (Lola T332)||+51.59s|
|DNF: Frank Karl (McLaren M10B) 4 laps (Misfire) Toby Annabell (McLaren M10B) 3 laps (fuel).|
Anna Collins grabbed people’s attention during the weekend as she drove the Hey family-owned Leda LT27, the car that Michael, her younger brother, drove the last three seasons.
Although Anna’s main goal in Manfeild was just to get herself familiar with the car and the category, the 28-year-old got two third places at the scratch races, and even ranked seventh place on the handicap race on Sunday morning.
“Well, a first for the series anyway. I was lucky enough to get a race run in the car at the Wigram Revival meeting at Ruapuna last month but there is still a lot more for me to learn about the car itself and how I can get the most out of it,”Anna Collins
Tony Roberts, a category and series veteran in his high-wing McLaren M10A had a great weekend in his four-strong Class A category for older cars. Twice during the weekend, he led 2019/20 category winner, Frank Karl in his McLaren M10B, to the finish line. He was able to start and finish all three races. Karl, on the other hand, had two finishes and one DNF.
Race 3 – 10 laps rolling start with grid based on finishing order of R1
Sunday’s 10-lap feature final was also won by Collins. Unfortunately, Kevin Ingram had gearbox issues on the first lap. It was Auckland-hailed Shayne Windelburn, Race 2 winner, driving the Lola T400 that took the second place.
Race 3 Results
|1. Michael Collins (Leda LT27/GM1)|
|2. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400)||+8.13s|
|3. Anna Collins (Leda LT27)||+16.37s|
|4. Glenn Richards (Lola T400)||+19.38s|
|5. Russell Greer (Lola T332)||+20.53s|
|6. Codie Banks (Lola T332)||+20.91s|
|7. Tim Rush (McLaren M22)||+38.62s|
|8. Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A)||+43.42s|
|9. Frank Karl (McLaren M10B)||+66.01s|
|DNF: Toby Annabell (McLaren M10B) 7 laps (fuel) Kevin Ingram (Lola T332) 1 lap (gearbox)|
The 2020/21 SAS Autoparts MSC NZ F5000 series will have a two-month break before the second round will commence at the annual Taupo Historic GP meeting featuring Ford around later in January 2021.
The break will hopefully give David Banks, series sponsor SAS Autoparts, enough time to repair the half (drive) shaft that broke on the Talon MR1/A during the first race at Manfield, effectively putting him out for the whole weekend.
Tony Galbraith’s freshly re-built Lola T332, after it had a major crash at the Skope Classic meeting the year before, also suffered engine damage during qualifying at Manfield. Hopefully, it can be fixed in time for the next 20/21 series meeting in January 2021.
[Source: New Zealand Formula 5000 Association]