The Contenders: Tim Macrow (UCS Group TMR)
MEET S5000s Mr. Consistency.
Using all of his considerable experience and race craft, Tim Macrow has used ruthless consistency and an ability to grab opportunities when they present to ensure he remains Joey Mawson’s closest rival for the 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.
As such, he’ll head to the familiar bitumen of Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown this week 55 points behind the leader; half of the number of points up for grabs.
Macrow led the standings following Symmons Plains’ season opener, the friendly-fire between the BRM drivers giving him a clear path to start the feature race up front and his experience seeing him able to hold off a probably quicker Cooper Webster to take the win.
That came off the back of second in the reverse-grid race thanks to his entirely average qualifying performance of fifth that weekend.
And that’s not a commentary – it’s fact: Macrow has qualified fifth in three of the four rounds held so far. In the other one, he was sixth.
A second win in the reverse-grid race at Phillip Island was handy, though he lacked outright pace in the finale’ and missed the podium at his home circuit.
Results of fifth, fifth and third at the Grand Prix were handy and ensured he remained in the mix. Sydney, too, was solid with third in both heat races, however fifth place in the finale – by virtue of being turned around by Nathan Herne – was costly. Macrow was ropable following the contact, knowing how costly the points lost were as Mawson sat further up the road in second.
55 points is a catchable margin with S5000’s point score, however if the two-time Gold Star champion is going to add a third Australian Drivers’ Championship to his remarkable CV he will need to qualify better at Hidden Valley to do so.
One-lap pace has not been a strength of the UCS Group / Hollinger car this year; while Mawson has never missed the front row this season, Macrow has never made it beyond the third. In fact, Macrow has ceded 15 championship points to his Team BRM rival alone in qualifying this year.
A previous race winner at Hidden Valley in F3 competition, Macrow will hope that his prior knowledge of the charismatic circuit outside of Darwin helps him find the one lap pace that could help him claim a third Gold Star title this year.
Standings: 2nd (-55 Points)
2022 Races: 12
2022 Wins: 2
2022 Podiums: 6
Best Qualifying: 5th (Symmons Plains, Phillip Island, Sydney Motorsport Park)