20 September 2019 | News

Tim Macrow fastest in historic first session at Sandown

Tim Macrow created a piece of history when he topped the first official practice session for Australia’s thundering new S5000 category at Sandown Park.

Former grand prix star Rubens Barrichello led 13 freshly-finished cars into action in the first against-the-clock hit-out for the class, ahead of races at Sandown tomorrow and Sunday.

Macrow used his test driving experience in the V8-powered single-seater to finish ahead of young gun Will Brown, with Supercars regular James Golding in third and Barrichello in sixth.

Macrow’s fastest time was 1 minute 06.7447 seconds, significantly quicker than the 1:09.0987 set by Chaz Mostert when he set the Supercars benchmark in 2017 in a Ford Falcon.

“It’s really good to get off to that start. I was probably being a bit conservative. There is definitely more to come,” says Macrow.

“No massive surprises, but it’s a handful when the rear tyres are cold.”

For Brown, who is doing double duty in S5000 and the TCR Australian Series, the contrast between a front-wheel drive turbo hatchback and the roaring rear-drive S5000 was a shock.

“It definitely gets your attention. I had a ball. I thought I would be shitting myself, but I had a ball,” says Brown.

He was one of the drivers who explored the limits, sliding off at one point but causing no damage to his car.

“I ran off the road but I didn’t hit anything,” he says.

Barrichello was having his first look at Sandown after a first-up shake-down at Phillip Island and was quickly into an engineering debrief with his crew to find more speed.

“The grip level is so low here, compared to Phillip Island. And it’s a bit bumpier. There was only 20 minutes to learn the track,” says Barrichello.

He is expecting more speed through the Sandown weekend and taking no chances.

“I’m being cautious and learning my way. You have to pay attention.

“But I’m always happy when I have a steering wheel in my hands.”

Behind the top three, John Martin – who is also doing double duty with his TCR Honda – was fourth on 1:07.6645, with third-generation racer Matt Brabham next on 1:07.6951 and Barrichello on 1:08.0967.

Results: S5000 Practice 1, Sandown

Pos Num Driver Team Car Time Gap
1   23  Tim Macrow     MTEC Motorsport S5000 1:06.7447
2   38  Will Brown         Eggleston Motorsport          S5000 1:07.1826 00.4379
3   31  James Golding      Garry Rogers Motorsport    S5000 1:07.5724 00.8277
4   24  John Martin        AGI Sport                     S5000 1:07.6645 00.9198
5   83  Matthew Brabham     MTEC Motorsport                       S5000 1:07.6951 00.9504
6  111  Rubens Barrichello Team BRM                  S5000 1:08.0967 01.3520
7    8  Alex Davison       Team BRM                   S5000 1:08.2747 01.5300
8   34  Ricky Capo         Modena Engineering            S5000 1:08.4288 01.6841
9   33  Tim Berryman      Team BRM                      S5000 1:09.5461 02.8014
10  22  Tom Alexander      AGI Sport                     S5000 1:10.3655 03.6208
11  27  Barton Mawer        Milldun Motorsport                         S5000 1:11.9512 05.2065
12  11  Michael Gibson     Australian Racing Enterprises S5000 1:13.3221 06.5774
13  97  Taylor Cockerton    MTEC Motorsport               S5000 1:13.6812 06.9365