Michael Collins in his Leda GM1 missed by only 0.168 of a second of taking out the clean sweep of the qualifying/race win/quickest lap in round 3 of New Zealand’s F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series in Christchurch at the Skope Classic Meeting that took place from Feb 5 to 7.
Instead of dwelling on the time difference that cost him victory in the new ‘rolling-start-handicap’ race to Shayne Windelburn in the Lola T400, Collins looked to the future claiming that he would just have to work harder next time.
Speaking after he came out victorious at the 31st annual Skope Classic historic motor racing meeting in the 8-lap feature final at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Collins stated:
“All credit to him. I definitely was close at the end, but he got to the line first. Could I have gone faster earlier on? Definitely. And could I have got through the traffic in the middle of the race quicker? Probably. But that’s the beauty of having a handicap race in our mix now. You have to learn a whole lot of new race skills.”
In November 2020 at the Manfield Circuit Chris Amon, Windelburn also won the rolling-start-handicap race during the first round of the 20/21 series.
Michael Collins (Leda GM1)
Anna Collins (Leda LT27)
Kevin Ingram (Lola T332)
Glenn Richards (Lola T400)
Codie Banks (Lola T332)
David Banks (Talon MR1)
Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400)
Russell Greer (Lola T332)
Tony Galbraith (Lola T332)
Tim Rush (McLaren M22)
Frank Karl (McLaren M10B)
The Saturday race was plagued with an unusually high rate of attrition, and sadly, the trend continued the next day after Anna Collins and Tony Galbraith were both out the whole weekend.
Anna Collins suffered a broken valve spring, while Galbraith had a gearbox issue. Tim Rush in a McLaren M22 was also plagued with gearbox issues, giving him problems between the second and third races on Sunday.
On his way to the finish line, Michael Collins was able to set the fastest race lap at 1:21.547 before finishing 4.773 seconds ahead of Codie Banks, with Glenn Richards coming in third.
During the first two laps, Anna Collins was able to easily cruise behind her brother. Unfortunately, issues with the engine’s rev limiter started and she dropped back to fifth place behind Codie Banks, Glenn Richards, and David Banks.
It was the best Anna Collins and David Banks was able to achieve during the race as Anna’s race ended in the pit, while David ended up at the side of the track after getting a flat tire.
There were only six finishers in the race as Kevin Ingram in the Lola T332 suffered loose bodywork, while Shane Windelburn in the Lola T400 had a sticking throttle and both were forced to pull out of the race.
Race 1 (Saturday PM 8 laps)
DNF. Shayne Windelburn, David Banks, Anna Collins, Kevin Ingram
The second race had a smaller field of eight cars given Russell Greer in the Lola T332 was already sidelined after the ex-Graham Lawrence car sustained some damage to the corner of the monocoque during the category qualifying session on Saturday morning.
The race was won by Shayne Windelburn, with Michael Collins coming closely behind. Kevin Ingram in his Lola T332 and Glen Richards in the Lola T400, came in third and fourth, respectively.
Race 2 (Sunday AM 8 laps)
The feature final was dominated by Michael Collins again all the way however this time the talented racer felt the pressure from former NZ Formula Ford class champion Kevin Ingram (Lola T332).
Trailing behind in hot pursuit was Codie Banks in the Lola T332 who was able to establish an early advantage ahead of Glenn Richards.
David Banks in the Talon MR1, Codie’s father, who had endured multiple different mechanical issues throughout practice, qualifying, and the first two races, finally enjoyed a trouble-free race to finish ahead of Shayne Windelburn, but still behind Richards.
For a moment in the race, Richards captured third position after passing Codie- only to outbrake himself at the end of the lap where David Banks took the opportunity to pass him.
“With nothing to lose we decided to make a really big change to the set-up of the car, comfortable in the knowledge that I would either really like it, or really hate it!”
Race 3 (Sunday PM 8 laps)
DNF. Codie Banks+2 laps
Round 4 of the Formula 5000 Tasman Series, HRC Legends of Speed, will be held on the 20-21 Mar 2021 at Hampton Downs, Waikato, NZ.