S5000 Push to Pass to offer new element to Phillip Island fight
Team Valvoline GRM driver, Aaron Cameron believes the S5000 Australian Drivers Championships’ newly introduced Push to Pass feature will spring a more strategic battle at Phillip Island.
Designed to promote closer racing and more overtaking, Push to Pass is a system that increases throttle percentage, and therefore, horsepower – for a set amount of time throughout each race.
This weekend, the feature will make its debut at Phillip Island – a circuit which provides plenty of opportunities for drivers to use the system in attempt to make up places.
When asked about how the feature will affect this weekend’s races, Cameron said the Island will present some challenges that other circuits don’t.
“It’s got different effects depending on the circuit, you have got to try and figure out where the best place to use it is and where are the best straights,” Cameron said.
“Symmons Plains is quite simple cause you want to use it going into the hairpins or the final corner, but Phillip Island will be a tricky one, it should be out of turn two or down the main straight and then there are other shorter points you might have to use it as well.
“It’s a nice strategic battle as driving the car you have got to try and figure out when is the best time to use it, you only have a couple of seconds to try in the race so you have got to be as smart as you can with it.”
The system made its debut on the Gold Coast last year, and has since featured at a handful of Australia’s most prestigious circuits – with the system tailored to suit the layout of each circuit and race distance.
Whilst still unsure of the exact amount of time to be allocated this weekend, the GRM driver believes the more allocation the better when it comes to overtaking.
“I haven’t seen what they are going to cut us at yet, but you are going to either need a lot of it or be really smart with it to get the move done,” Cameron explained.
“If you run out early in the straight, they are just going to turn theirs on and catch you out towards the end, but at the same time that does make it more fun to watch.”
The challenges won’t just be limited to race-days either, as it also changes the complexion of how drivers use up their limited practice times.
“Another tricky thing is we get two practice sessions but we must split our time between the qualifying mode at full throttle, and laps with the race mode so you know how to apply the throttle in race mode,” Cameron added.
“It’s going to be a big change at Phillip Island and you will notice it a lot, especially out of the slower corners how much harder you can enter them.
“It’s always something you have got to adapt to, but the S5000’s has got a lot of things like that and that’s what makes it great.”
Tickets for the second round of the season are still available via motorsporttickets.com.au.
For those who are unable to make the trip to Phillip Island, Stan Sport will provide live and uninterrupted coverage from most of Saturday and Sunday’s action, while 9Gem will also broadcast three hours of Saturday afternoon’s racing.
The second round of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship kicks off at the Shannons SpeedSeries Phillip Island event on 12-14 May.