19 November 2021 | General

Macrow grabs early Tasman Series advantage with Sydney pole

DOUBLE Gold Star champion Tim Macrow has grabbed the early advantage in the Shannons S5000 Tasman Series, taking pole position in a tight and tense qualifying session at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Macrow banked his best lap on his fifth of seven flyers, his 1m25.91s flyer just enough to edge out an impressive Luis Leeds by 0.0637s.

James Golding and Nathan Herne made it a Valvoline GRM 3-4 on the second row with the top four covered by less than 0.1 seconds.

RESULTS: Shannons S5000 Tasman Series, Round 1 Qualifying

Macrow’s best lap came relatively early in the session and remained the time to beat when a red flag flew with seven minutes remaining.

Remarkably, it was the Victorian’s first S5000 pole at a championship round and earned him 10 points towards the Tasman Series as a bonus.

The stoppage came when Ben Bargwanna spun exiting turn seven, his car stranded on the runoff area and necessitating a recovery.

The lengthy pick-up saw the session called with just over a minute remaining, meaning Macrow’s time remained unbeaten.

The biggest losers of the red flag were Team BRM teammates Roberto Merhi and Joey Mawson, who were caught out by the stoppage.

Merhi had elected to run later in the session and had only completed one push lap prior to the stoppage – he qualified fifth.

Mawson, meanwhile, battled engine issues throughout the session and as a result the reigning Australian Drivers’ Champion could only manage 12th.

The pair were split by Aaron Cameron, in sixth, Blake Purdie, Jordan Boys and Cooper Webster – who qualified ninth.

That position was critical given the top 75% inversion of the qualifying order that sets the Race two grid – putting the Victorian teenager on pole and Super 2 ace Jordan Boys alongside him.

Ben Bargwanna qualified 10th despite his spin, while Japanese Formula 3 and GT ace Yoshiaki Katayama was eleventh – less than one second from pole position.

The field was the closest in S5000 history, pointing to three thrilling races ahead this weekend.

Races 1 and 2 of the S5000 Tasman Series will be contested tomorrow at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Both races will be shown live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports, while Race 2 will also be broadcast live on the Seven Network around Australia.