Cameron Coming to Grips with New S5000 Tyre
One of the big talking points heading into Round 4 of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park was the brand new tyre, one of the biggest technical changes in category history.
With a new construction and softer compound, the new Hoosier tyre was expected to drastically slash lap times at the Western Sydney venue.
Team Valvoline GRM’s Aaron Cameron duly obliged, setting a 1m 23.5341s in the first practice session on Friday to become the fastest S5000 driver around Sydney Motorsport Park.
He then went even quicker in qualifying, setting a 1m 23.1387s to claim pole position, over a second faster than Joey Mawson’s 2022 pole time.
When asked about the differences between the two tyres after qualifying, the 2021 Tasman Series champion did note a few key differences in the feeling behind the wheel.
“The steering is definitely heavier with the bigger front tyre, there’s a lot more front grip on turn in. Before we always struggled with front turn, I was always complaining to my engineer about wanting more turn and we had to trail the front brake a lot. Now we don’t have to trail as much and the car does it a lot itself.”
Cameron also noted how much of a challenge the adjustment has been for engineers and mechanics, saying that there was still plenty of learning to be done across the balance of the weekend.
“We rolled out in Practice One and were good, then rolled out in Practice Two with some changes and seemed to go backwards, not just with tyre degradation but also with setup, so we were back to what we knew for Qualifying and it felt pretty good.”
The tyre warmup procedure has also drastically changed this weekend, with Cameron noting that the tyres come up to temperature far quicker than the former tyre, revealing that he had experimented with different warmup procedures in practice.
“We get three or four laps and then you really have to back off, cool the tyres down and then go again. It’s completely different, you used to just keep going for twenty minutes and whoever crossed the line last was usually the fastest, so it’s back to what other categories are like.”
As for what to expect in race conditions, Cameron isn’t expecting times to drop away over a race distance as others have anticipated.
“With the way the throttle works and the application of less throttle, I don’t think it’ll be as much degradation as we expect. If we were in qualifying mode for a whole race I think there’d be a fair bit of degradation and you’d run out of rear tyres pretty quickly.”
Race One of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship begins at 1:30pm this afternoon, before two further races at 8:30am and 11:55am tomorrow at Sydney Motorsport Park.
All races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.