With Kiwi Clark Proctor (March 73A) side-lined after blowing his engine in the morning heat, it was left to ageless kiwi star Ken Smith (Lola T332) to take it to the young man over 40 years his junior.

Smith (71), a champion in the original Formula 5000 era, continued to race open wheelers without a break since, and returned to the category when it re-emerged as a historic formula. He has since won three NZ MSC Formula 5000 championships - illustrating perfectly that experience is the perfect counter to age!

However, it was 25 year-old series debutant Tweedie (Chevron B24) who prevailed. After an early career in Australian F3 and Carrera Cup, his transition to the 550hp 5-litre V8-powered Australian Grand Prix cars of the 70s has been seamless.

Third in the feature race was the Matich A50 driven by Melbournian Bryan Sala, who found extra pace after the morning qualifying heat, to edge out Aucklander Andrew Higgins (Lola T400).

Aaron Lewis (Matich A50) completed the top five while first 'Class A' (pre 1970) car home, in a best-ever sixth, was the Lola T140 of Adelaide veteran John Bryant.

The next round of the series will support the V8 Supercar Sandown 500 on September 13-15 in Melbourne.

The F5000 Australia Cup is supported by Gibson Freight and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.


Formula 5000 Australia Cup
Points after Rnd 1

1. Tom Tweedie (Aust, Chevron B24) 55 points
2. Ken Smith (NZ, Lola T332) 44
3. Bryan Sala (Aust, Matich A50) 37
4. Andrew Higgins (NZ, Lola T400) 37
5. Aaron Lewis (Aust, Matich A50) 31
6. John  Bryant (Aust, Lola T140) 26
7. Clark Proctor (NZ, March 73A) 12
8. Tim Rush (NZ, McLaren M22) 12

Image courtesy John Morris/Mpix