12 May 2023 | General

Golding sets S5000 benchmark on fast Friday

JAMES GOLDING has set the quickest ever S5000 lap of the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in practice for Round 2 of the Australian Drivers’ Championship today.

Golding’s 1:24.7409 was two-tenths quicker than the existing qualifying record, set in 2022, at the 4.46km Victorian circuit and came at an average lap speed of 189km/hr.

Golding, who races for Garry Rogers Motorsport, topped both sessions on Friday however even he couldn’t match his practice 1 benchmark in the afternoon session, held in decidedly cooler conditions later on Friday afternoon.

He led championship leader Joey Mawson in both sessions today setting up another intense fight between S5000s two most successful drivers.

Golding has scored pole on both of S5000s two prior visits to Phillip Island setting a new qualifying record on each visit.

Mawson, meanwhile, owns the race lap record which – at 1m25.67s – looks set to be smashed this weekend.

Aaron Cameron and Versa Motorsport’s Cooper Webster were third or fourth in each session today, both well within striking distance of the two leaders.

Jordan Boys (GRM) and Blake Purdie (Versa) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in both sessions today, both within one second of the leading pace.

Nic Carroll and Mark Rosser were next, while newcomer Winston Smith overcame early licencing issues – now resolved – to complete one full session aboard his Versa Motorsport entry, finishing ninth and just behind Rosser’s Team BRM entry.

The field returns for qualifying and the opening of three races tomorrow.

Both sessions will be broadcast live and ad-break free on Stan Sport, with Race 1 also to air live on 9Gem around Australia.