Last year at the same Wigram Revival meeting at the city's Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park, the Dunedin driver set pole with a time of 1:18.637 but threw away an early lead in the first race when he spun, eventually crossing the finish line in third place.  

This year he had made no such mistake, going even quicker in qualifying this morning - his best lap of 1:17:850 over a second quicker than the 2011 pole time - then leading the first eight lap race of the weekend from start to finish  

"Yes," he said," the car's going great, we haven't had any problems to speak of and the plan was to put in a really quick time in qualifying to guarantee us pole for all three races then take it from there."  

Aucklander Clark Proctor (March 73A) joined Ross on the front row of the grid after beating former series title holder and four-time Lady Wigram Trophy winner Ken Smith (Lola T430) to the second quickest qualifying time, but like Smith - who started from P3 on the second row of the grid - he was no match for Ross who set the fastest race lap - a 1:18:533 - as he edged away to cross the finish line just over 10 seconds ahead of Proctor with Smith a further three-quarters of a second back in third.  

Fourth was Brett Willis (Lola T330) from Rotorua, fifth, former MSC series champion Ian Clements (Lola T332) from Christchurch and sixth Melbourne-based expat Chris Lambden (McRae GM1).  

Class young gun Alan Dunkley, whose family-owned and run high-wing 1968 Lola T140 is the oldest car in the MSC series field, put the cat amongst the pigeons with a qualifying lap which put him on the fourth row of the grid and early pace which saw him up to sixth place. A spin put him back down the field though and he crossed the line back where he started - in eighth place.  

" We just started with too high a pressure in the tyres," he explained. "Not by much but enough to over-temp them and I ended up spinning. Before that it was good though. We took over 40 kgs out of the car over the winter and we've now got another 100 horsepower so she now gets along for an old girl."  

Today's race was the first of three at the annual Wigram Revival meeting for the MSC NZ F5000 Tasman Cup Revival series field with a second  eight lapper on Sunday morning and the feature Wigram Cup Race over 15 laps due to start at 3.30pm in the afternoon.  

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 and Exide.  


2012/13 MSC New Zealand F5000 Tasman Cup Revival Series Rnd 2 Wigram Revival meeting Powerbuilt Tools Raceway @ Ruapuna Park Christchurch Sat-Sun October 27 & 28 2012  
1. Steve Ross (McRae GM1) 1.17.850
2. Clark Proctor (March 73A) 1.19.375
3. Ken Smith (Lola T430) 1.20.002
4. Brett Willis (Lola T330) 1.20.352
5. Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) 1.20.968
6. Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) 1.21.180
7. Ian Clements (Lola T332) 1.21.289
8. Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) 1.22.081
9. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 1.23.389
10. David Abbott (Lola T430) 1.23.438
11. David Banks (Talon MR1A) 1.24.050
12. Lindsay O'Donnell (Begg FM5) 1.24.451
13. Stan Redmond (Lola T333CS) 1.26.278
14. Phil Mauger (McLaren M23 F1) 1.27.235
15. Peter Burson (McRae GM1) no time  

Race 1 (8 laps Sat)
1. Steve Ross (McRae GM1) 10:38:117
2. Clark Proctor (March 73A) 10:49:188
3. Ken Smith (Lola T430) 10:49:848
4. Brett Willis (Lola T330) 11:00:442
5. Ian Clements (Lola T332) 11:02:749
6. Chris Lambden (McRae GM1) 11:11:877
7. Russell Greer (Lola T332) 11:13:296
8. Alan Dunkley (Lola T140) 11:18:994
9. David Banks (Talon MR1A) 11:30:505
10. Aaron Burson (McRae GM1) 11:35:008
11. Lindsay O'Donnell (Begg FM5) 11:35:218
12. Phil Mauger (McLaren M23 F1) 11:40:157
13. Peter Burson (McRae GM1) 11:42:493
14. David Abbott (Lola T430) 11:42:579 
15. Stan Redmond (Lola T333CS) 12:01.939