Smith dominates F5000 at the first weekend of the Howden Ganley tribute meeting at Hampton Downs near Auckland


Series super-vet Ken Smith (Lola T332) went on to complete a clean-sweep of the three MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series races on the programme at the first Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival historic motor racing meeting at Hampton Downs on Sunday, winning both category races very much as he liked.

Though track conditions mitigated against him taking a serious tilt at the track lap record, the 73-year-old who lives high in the Bombay Hills less than 20 minutes away from the circuit, maintained the advantage he established on Saturday, winning the first – eight lap – race of the day from Clark Proctor (March 73A/1) and visiting Australian driver Paul Zazryn (Lola T332), then the 15 lap feature in the afternoon from Steve Ross (McRae GM1) and Greg Thornton (Surtees TS8).

Unfortunately the early action in the combined MSC NZF5000/Invited F1 cars races happened behind Smith with both  red flagged and re-started, the first not once but twice.

In that race, McRae GM1 driver Peter Burson had a brake issue, his car grinding to a halt on the first lap with the race immediately red-flagged so it could be retrieved.

The starting lights had only just gone out after the first re-start, however, when Glenn Richards (Lola T400) clipped Brett Willis (Lola T330) along the short straight between Turns 1 and 2 as a slowing Willis was pulling over with a broken half-shaft. That sent both cars spinning and collected by the following Surtees TS5 of Warwick Mortimer and McLaren M22 of Tim Rush.

All four cars sustained damage, two of them heavy, leading to a lengthy delay while they were retrieved and the track cleared of debris.

Smith then led away on the second re-start with Proctor and Ross disputing third until Zazryn and defending series champion Andrew Higgins (Lola T400) took advantage of a small mistake by Ross to slot him back to fifth place where he remained to the flag.

Alastair Russell was again quick in his McRae GM1 before he was forced out by a broken universal joint.MSC15Rnd3HDR2SteveRossandClark Proctortussle-1

After his brush with the armco on Saturday, Blenheim driver Russell Greer was back in business in his repaired Lola T32 though, using a rear wing and mount borrowed from Steve Ross to good effect to finish ninth between British driver Greg Thornton’s Surtees TS8 and Australian Peter Brennan’s Lola T330.

In the feature race later in the day it was Clark Proctor’s turn to bring out the red flag, the high-profile all-rounder with a background in stockcars but better known these days for his efforts in Targa New Zealand and now the MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series, running off the track at the hairpin with a sticking throttle.

Once his cars was out of the gravel trap and back in the pits, the race ran like clockwork however, Smith stroking his La Valise-liveried Lola T332 home at a canter from Steve Ross and Greg Thornton a weekend-best third (despite having to again use his second car, the Surtees, when flywheel issues kept his first, the ex Peter Gethin Chevron B24/28 in the pit garage).

Auckland driver David Banks (Talon MR1) also enjoyed a strong run this time, with his own weekend-best fourth, just in front of quick and consistent Aussie Paul Zazryn in fifth.

Andrew Higgins was quick early on, only to be forced out by an engine issue. Enjoying a second top 12 finish in both Sunday races, however, was young gun Alan Dunkley (Lola T140), his team having repaired the damage to the universal that put the classic high-wing Class A car out in the first race of the weekend on Saturday.

This weekend’s meeting was the first of two at the Hampton Downs circuit over consecutive weekends with the MSC series field gathering back at the circuit next Friday for the fourth round of this season’s series on Saturday and Sunday.

The MSC F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series is organised and run with the support of sponsors MSC, NZ Express Transport, Bonney’s Specialized Bulk Transport, Mobil Lubricants, Pacifica, Avon Tyres, Webdesign and Exide.


 2014/15 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series Rnd 3 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley F5000 Festival #1 Hampton Downs Nth Waikato New Zealand Fri-Sun Jan 16-182015


  1. Ken Smith (Lola T332) 59.264
  2. Steve Ross (McRae GM1)  1.01.106
  3. Clark Proctor (March 73A/1) 1.01.476
  4. Aaron Burson (Talon MR1/A) 1.02.256
  5. Paul Zazryn (Lola T332) 1.02.263
  6. Greg Thornton (Chevron B24/28) 1.02.452
  7. Brett Willis (Lola T330) 1.02.586
  8. Alastair Russell (McRae GM1) 1.02.864
  9. Glenn Richards (Lola T400) 1.02.978
  10. David Banks (Talon MR1) 1.03.326
  11. Peter Brennan (Lola T330)  1.03.379
  12. Ian Clements (Lola T332) 1.03.605
  13. Allan Dunkley (Lola T140) 1.04.481
  14. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 1.04.802
  15. David Abbott (Lola T430) 1.05.981
  16. Peter Burson (McRae GM1) 1.06.967
  17. Tony Roberts (McLaren M10A) 1.07.779
  18. Robs Lamplough (BRM P180 F1) 1.07.805
  19. Lindsay O’Donnell (Begg FM5) 1.08.460
  20. Warwick Mortimer (Surtees TS5) 1.09.248
  21. Poul Christie (McLaren M10A) 1.11.558
  22. Grant Clearwater (McLaren M10B) 1.11.608
  23. Tim Rush (McLaren M22) 1.12.220
  24. Andrew Higgins (Lola T400) 1.11.876
  25. Shayne Windelburn (Lola T400) no time.

 Race 1 8 laps

  1. Ken Smith
  2. Clark Proctor
  3. Steve Ross
  4. Brett Willis
  5. Paul Zazryn
  6. Greg Thornton
  7. Andrew Higgins
  8. David Banks
  9. Ian Clements
  10. Glenn Richards
  11. Peter Brennan
  12. Alastair Russell
  13. David Abbott
  14. Tony Roberts
  15. Peter Burson
  16. Robs Lamplough
  17. Tim Rush
  18. Warwick Mortimer
  19. Poul Christie

dnf. Aaron Burson, Russell Greer, Allan Dunkley, Lindsay O’Donnell, Grant Clearwater, Shayne Windelburn

 Race 2 8 laps

  1. Ken Smith 08:50.710
  2. Clark Proctor +02.662
  3. Paul Zazryn +13.780
  4. Andrew Higgins +13.943
  5. Steve Ross +17.290
  6. Aaron Burson +21.672
  7. Ian Clements +35.835
  8. Greg Thornton +36.145
  9. Russell Greer +37.163
  10. Peter Brennan +39.426
  11. Alan Dunkley +42.626
  12. David Abbott +53.420
  13. Tony Roberts +01:01.472
  14. Robs Lamplough +01:01.779
  15. Grant Clearwater +1 lap
  16. Poul Christie +1 lap

dnf; Alastair Russell, Lindsay O’Donnell, Brett Willis, Glenn Richards, David Banks, Tim Rush, Warwick Mortimer, Peter Burson, Shayne Windelburn

Race 3 15 laps

  1. Ken Smith 16.22.542
  2. Steve Ross +5.087
  3. Greg Thornton +36.044
  4. David Banks +38.971
  5. Paul Zazryn +39.445
  6. Aaron Burson +39.775
  7. Peter Brennan +49.583
  8. Russell Greer +50.526
  9. Alan Dunkley +51.592
  10. Ian Clements +59.581
  11. Shayne Windelburn +1 lap
  12. Tony Roberts +1 lap
  13. Davis Abbott +1 lap
  14. Peter Burson +1 lap
  15. Lindsay O’Donnell +1 lap
  16. Robs Lamplough +1 lap
  17. Grant Clearwater + 1 lap
  18. Poul Christie +1 lap

dnf. Andrew Higgins, Clark Proctor

Prepared by FAST COMPANY of behalf of the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association

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