29 May 2022 | General

Cameron claims dramatic Sydney S5000 showdown

AARON CAMERON won the Tasman Series last year but was yet to trouble the scorers in the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship proper – until he charged to the front in a dramatic finale’ at Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday afternoon. 

Cameron claimed a remarkable race at Sydney Motorsport Park after yet another wheel-t0-wheel battle with Joey Mawson – a theme for the weekend.

The pair had battled hard for the lead in race one on Saturday night and then controversially crashed at the start of race two; Mawson making hard contact with Cameron’s car at the start, forcing the latter out and giving the championship leader a drive-through penalty.

With everything squared post-race, the pair fronted for a showdown on a circuit covered in oil dry, making the first laps look like operation desert storm rather than operation win-a-gold-star-race.

Starting from second and on the clean side of the circuit, Tim Macrow beat polesitter Mawson into turn one and led the opening laps comfortably.

Nathan Herne was the big mover and shaker, however, passing Mawson on the second lap and setting out after race leader Macrow.

On the third lap he lunged, diving up the inside at turn twelve and making contact with the leader’s car. Macrow spun, Herne continued while Mawson returned to second with Cameron – who finished the first lap in fifth position – now third.

After a tense battle for several laps, Cameron lunged Mawson at turn two on the sixth lap to wrestle second away from the title leader – only to run wide two corners later to cede the position back.

He then made a similar move stick a lap later to pass Mawson, who again found himself third.

He’d be second one lap later though: Herne delivered the bad news by race control that a drive-through penalty was coming his way for the earlier contact with Macrow.

The race settled down from there, Cameron controlling the margin to Mawson en-route to his maiden S5000 victory in Gold Star competition.

Mawson scored the most points of the weekend to extend his title lead, while James Golding charged his way through to third to salvage a challenging weekend.

Blake Purdie was a strong fourth in his Nippy’s entry, while Macrow recovered to fifth position at the end.

Earlier, Cooper Webster superbly delivered Versa Motorsport a second S5000 race victory as he led from lights-to-flag in the reverse grid race.

James Golding finished second, chasing Webster to the line, while Tim Macrow was third – passed by Golding late in the race.

The big story was Mawson, who made contact with Cameron at the start of the race – the damage eliminating the GRM driver immediately and delivering the championship leader a drive-through penalty.

He’d recover to sixth position, salvaging enough points to ensure he would start the final race from pole regardless.

Four rounds in to the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, Joey Mawson has extended his title lead to 55 points as the field heads to Hidden Valley in three weeks time.

James Golding has moved to third – 30 points behind Macrow, who remains second – while Cooper Webster’s race three non-finish has dropped him behind Golding in the battle for the final step on the podium.

The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship returns to action in three weeks for their first trip to the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, on June 17-19.