Mawson claims Winton win after dramatic last lap shootout
ACM Finance.com’s Joey Mawson has etched his name into the history books as the first-ever winner in the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship at Winton following a dramatic late-race restart at Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton.
Mawson made a fantastic restart for what would be a one-lap shootout to the finish, whilst Garry Rogers Motorsport’s James Golding fell under pressure from Versa Motorsport’s Cooper Webster in the fight for second.
Golding locked up into the first corner on cold tyres and fired off into the sodden outfield, with Team Valvoline GRM’s Aaron Cameron following his stablemate through the Winton infield.
Two-time defending champion Mawson would eventually cruise home to take the chequered flag, with Webster coming home for second, and Nippy’s Versa Motorsport stablemate Blake Purdie taking a surprise third having benefitted from the dramas ahead for Golding and Cameron.
At the race start pole-sitter Golding and Mawson made an even jump from the front row, however it was the series leader who took the advantage after hanging tough around the outside of turn one, becoming the inside at turn two.
The PremiAir Racing Supercars star then came under immediate pressure from Phillip Island round winner Webster, who had made a great start from fourth on the grid.
Golding then drifted wide into the grass on the exit of turn four, losing spots to Webster and Garry Rogers Motorsport stablemate Aaron Cameron.
The two-time defending champion bolted from the field, putting over a second on Webster behind in the first lap.
As Mawson continued to build a gap, Golding went about making up for his error on the opening lap, diving down the inside of Team Valvoline GRM pilot Cameron on the third lap at turn three.
Golding was clearly the quickest car on track, and made the most of the Push to Pass system to make an aggressive move on Phillip Island round winner Webster on lap seven, again at turn three.
Mawson had gapped the field by three and a half seconds at this stage, however with a clear pace advantage Golding was only going to close that gap in the ten remaining laps.
Indeed, Golding took a second out of Mawson’s lead in his first lap clear of Webster, and took another six tenths out of Mawson’s lead on the following lap.
Golding was looming large in the mirrors of Mawson’s ACM Finance.com entry when the safety car was called for on lap thirteen for Mawson’s Team BRM teammate Mark Rosser, who nudged into the tyre barrier at turn four, setting up the dramatic finish.
Team Valvoline GRM’s Jordan Boys claimed fourth, ahead of recovering teammate Cameron, with Versa Motorsport’s Winston Smith in sixth ahead of Golding.
Nic Carroll was the final classified finisher in eighth, having been medically cleared to drive after sustaining ligament damage in his hand following a practice incident with Rosser yesterday.
The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship returns for two more races tomorrow at Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton at 9:50am and 1:55pm.
You can catch all the action live, ad-break free, and on-demand on Stan Sport.