S5000 breaks 41-year-old record
The official outright lap record at Symmons Plains was broken today for the first time in over four decades.
The Tasmanian circuit’s benchmark lap time started the day as the oldest in the country, the 50.16s having been set by Alfie Constanzo in a Lola T420 Formula 5000 car way back in 1980.
However predictions that S5000’s first visit to Symmons Plains would finally see the 41-year-old record fall rang true.
Three drivers went under Costanzo’s time in today’s S5000 opener - Thomas Randle, race winner Joey Mawson and James Golding.
It was runner-up Randle that ended up with the new record courtesy of a 49.864s.
He set the lap late in the race, too, despite admitting his recent cancer treatment took its toll on his race fitness.
"I was struggling for a bit of strength and conditioning out there, but to finish the race with the lap record is pretty cool," said Randle.
"We didn't get the win, but it's been an amazing day.
"It's impressive that it hasn't been broken in that long, because the track has been resurfaced and things like that. Those Formula 5000 cars were crazy in their heyday.
"So it's special. We've still got another day of racing tomorrow, so there's another two chances it could get broken again. But to break it today is great."
Reflecting on his race, Randle said Mawson’s rapid start was the difference.
"I just didn't get a good start,” he said.
“Joey really nailed the start. I had a crack at him into the hairpin at Lap 1 but my tyres were a bit cold and my brain was a bit cold. I was lucky to hold onto it, to be honest.
“We had a ding-dong battle, I kept him in my sights. Towards the end I tried to have a crack, but I went a bit wide at Turn 6.”
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