UK experience the key to S5000 success for Webster
Cooper Webster has delivered his most complete S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship performance to date after powering his way to two race wins at Phillip Island, as part of the third round of the Shannons SpeedSeries.
Webster claimed wins in both of Sunday’s races to move to the overall points leader at the conclusion of the weekend – sealing the outright round as a result.
After setting the foundation for the weekend with an impressive pole position and a runner-up finish in Saturday’s action, Webster claimed the first of his two wins in race two after a long battle with series leader Joey Mawson.
Whilst Mawson crossed the line first, the 88Racing / Team BRM driver was subsequently handed a five second penalty, which ultimately rewarded Webster with the race win.
However, the Victorian won the third outing on pure pace, after leading Mawson and James Golding throughout the entirety of the race.
Webster was thrilled with his performance across the whole weekend and was pleased to find pace at a circuit the team isn’t usually very fond of.
“It feels incredible, I didn’t expect it at all coming into the weekend. I am so happy with a pole position and two race wins,” Webster said.
“Phillip Island isn’t usually a track where we have had a lot of pace in the past, so to put it on pole position was a big surprise to the whole team.
“I think there was lots of different variables that all came together, the team put a lot of effort into getting the setup right across the weekend and because we have had a lot of time between Tasmania and Phillip Island, we could go back through data and work on different things with different ideas.”
Despite competing in the category for a couple of years, Webster also has plenty of open-wheel experience after having recently spent time in the United Kingdom, competing in the GB4 Championship.
Because of his experience, Webster credited some of the lessons he has learnt overseas to his success at the Island.
“Something I have learnt in the UK is to be more conscience of a tyre warm-up strategy, rather than going in and guessing, I’m being a bit more precise and firmer with what sort of trye strategy I use,” Webster explained.
“I’ve been more critical on my own driving and finding little things to push as close to the limit as I can, it is all these small techniques within my driving and all those little things I didn’t have before going overseas which is making a big difference.”
Given the nature of Webster’s weekend, the youngster will enter future rounds with an array of confidence, and now has the series title at the top of his mind.
“I think it definitely gives me a lot more confidence going into the next couple of rounds, it’s the first weekend I’ve properly beaten guys like Joey (Mawson), so it gives me a real confidence boost and a real shot at the series title,” Webster added.
“I can now approach the next couple of rounds with the title in the back of my mind, it could be possible compared to previous years when it was out of my reach.
“I knew I always had it in myself, but it’s another thing to go out and do it, I always put in 100% effort and it’s good to see the results on paper.”
The next round of the S5000 Australian Drivers Championship will take place at the Winton Raceway as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries’ Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton on 9-11 June.