UK driver Mark Dwyer has scored a runaway victory in race one of the F5000 open-wheeler class at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.
Dwyer’s second F5000 victory at Albert Park – his first was in 2009 – saw the polesitter cross the chequered flag in his Lola T332 over 20 seconds in front of Australian Aaron Lewis (Matich A50), with New Zealander David Abbott (Lola T430) claiming the last step on the podium.
Although his final winning margin was emphatic, Dywer did face some opposition in the eight-lapper, first from James Davison (T332) and then the in-form Greg Thornton (Surtees TS11).
But both Australians eventually fell by the wayside – Davison with a mechanical issue, and then Thornton after a bout of over-exuberance at turn one on lap six – which nearly brought down Dwyer as collateral damage.
“To win again at Albert Park is sensational,” said Dwyer. “I had a trouble-free run in that race, but I don’t expect things will be quite as easy in the next one once Thornton and Davison are back in it.”
Some scant consolation for Thornton was a new lap record of 1min56.8132secs – the first F5000 car ever to dip into the 56-second bracket at Albert Park.
Darcy Russell (Lola T330), Tony Floreani (Elfin MR5) and Bryan Sala (A50) completed the top six finishers.
The second and final race will be held at 11:25am tomorrow.