19 November 2021 | General

Golding, Merhi top Tasman Series practice

TEAM Valvoline GRM driver James Golding has set the fastest time in practice ahead of the S5000 Tasman Series opener at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Golding’s 1m26.1011s best came in the opening session of two 20-minute sessions today, as he topped Aaron Cameron and Roberto Merhi.

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Ben Bargwanna was an impressive fourth on his S5000 debut, mirroring the impressive wings-and-slicks pace of fellow TCR graduate Cameron.

The second, 20-minute session was delayed by a red flag, but saw Merhi top the charts with a 1m26.65s flyer.

He edged out Cameron by 0.06s and Luis Leeds by 0.09s in an intensely competitive top three, Nathan Herne and Ben Bargwanna completing a top six – covered by just 0.8 seconds.

Golding was fourth, while the red flag was brought out by rookie Blake Purdie, who had a rear suspension issue on his first flying lap of the session, leaving his Nippy’s 88 Racing entry stranded on the exit of turn eight.

Having topped pre-event testing on Thursday night, reigning Australian Drivers’ Champion Joey Mawson was seventh in practice one, and eighth in the second session.

Qualifying gets underway at 6:05pm on Friday evening, and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sport.