1 May 2021 | General

Title decider awaits as Golding and Ngatoa split Saturday wins

The VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship will be decided in the final race of the season with Joey Mawson, Thomas Randle and Tim Macrow still in contention, after a pair of heat races at Sydney Motorsport Park.

James Golding and Kaleb Ngatoa split the action-packed heats at the Sydney venue today, while championship leader Joey Mawson negotiated both races cleanly to take a slightly extended title lead into the final race of the year.

RESULTS: Races 1 & 2, Sydney Motorsport Park

Mawson’s margin over teammate Randle now stands at 48 points, while Macrow has closed to within one point of Randle in the fight for second.

With 60 points up for grabs, Mawson needs to ensure he finishes the race to claim the 59th Australian Drivers’ Championship and the Motorsport Australia Gold Star award.

Starting from pole, Mawson was slow away from the start of the first race but trailed James Golding home to finish second, before cautiously working his way from eighth to fifth in the reverse top-eight second race to help his championship margin.

Golding’s heat 1 victory was emphatic; a flying start seeing him take a handy early lead as the field raced to turn two.

With oil down on the circuit from previous races, the field scrabbled through the opening lap on a slick surface with Golding emerging in front of Mawson and Luis Leeds.

Mawson closed to within one second of the leader mid-race, before Golding pulled away in his Team Valvoline GRM entry to take his second race win of his 2021 campaign. With Mawson second, Luis Leeds finished third – backing up his Sandown podium achieved at the third round.

Nathan Herne and Thomas Randle finished fourth and fifth, with Tim Macrow in close company behind.

Those drivers found themselves elevated a spot late in the race after Ricky Capo, who was running fifth, ran out of fuel and was forced to park his Modena Engineering entry.

19-year-old Kiwi star Ngatoa started heat two from pole by virtue of his eighth-placed result in qualifying, converting that into an early lead thanks to a stunning start and opening lap cold-tyre pace.

As front-row starter Ricky Capo dropped back, Tim Macrow was the main beneficiary as he climbed to second and placed pressure on the leader, while Thomas Randle climbed to third.

Starting seventh, James Golding made a flying start and powered three-wide around the outside of the first corner to climb to fourth, where he would finish. The points were enough to lock in the GRM driver to pole position for the feature race on Sunday.

Ngatoa was unchallenged out in front and powered to his second victory of the weekend, while Macrow and Randle salvaged solid championship points with second and third, respectively.

Mawson finished fifth following a late-race pass on Nathan Herne, ensuring he will line up alongside James Golding in tomorrow’s final race of the season.

The finale’ will be broadcast live on 7mate and 7plus in Australia, Sky Sports New Zealand and streaming internationally.

TOP 5 STANDINGS (After race 2 of 3)

  1. Joey Mawson (Team BRM / ALABAR / Form 700) 362
  2. Thomas Randle (Team BRM / ALLABAR / Form 700) 314
  3. Tim Macrow (TMR / UCS Group) 313
  4. James Golding (GRM / Valvoline) 269
  5. Nathan Herne (GRM / Valvoline) 264