16 August 2023 | General

Webster returns as Gold Star history grows at The Bend

COOPER WEBSTER’S return for Versa Motorsport adds muscle to the ever-growing fight for the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship this season. 

The championship makes its points-paying debut at The Bend this weekend, the venue to become the 30th to host a round of the ADC / Gold Star since the first season in 1957.

Now free of clashes with his international racing commitments in the British GB4 Championship – where he sits second in points with two rounds remaining – Webster will return to his Versa Motorsport squad this weekend in a bid to close the margin on Aaron Cameron in the Gold Star title race.

While Joey Mawson still leads the standings, he will again be absent from The Bend this weekend meaning Cameron need only score two points to assume the outright championship lead.

Webster sits 75 points further back and will need a strong weekend to ensure the championship goes down to the wire in Adelaide later in November.

Meanwhile, Aaron Love returns to the 88Racing / ACM Finance entry prepared by Team BRM at a circuit the West Aussie driver knows and loves.

He dominated proceedings there last year in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, winning all three races and setting a new qualifying lap record in the process.

The round is home turf for the BRM squad and comes in a state filled with local Gold Star history.

South Australia has a close connection with the Gold Star award, dating all the way back to its first ever season in 1957.

The Bend will be the fifth South Aussie circuit to host a round of the Gold Star: the former Port Wakefield circuit joined by Adelaide International Raceway, Mallala Motorsport Park and the Adelaide Parklands circuit having staged ADC events.

South Australian entrants have won more Gold Stars than any other, too.

The iconic Adelaide born-and-bread Elfin brand saw their cars power to a pair of titles in the early 1970s – during the peak of Formula 5000s halcyon days.

Meanwhile, the iconic Birrana Racing was dominant in the Formula Holden era and claimed seven titles between 1994 and 2001 with their iconic blue Reynard’s.

Since then, Team BRM have been the Gold Star powerhouse: The won the title seven times in the Formula 3 era and have added two more since it has been awarded to the winner of the S5000 championship.

S5000 contested a non-championship round at The Bend in 2019, in what was just the second ever race for the category.

Then, Supercars driver Anton de Pasquale grabbed pole position (1m41.2729s) with Thomas Randle, John Martin and Will Brown next.

Three different drivers won the three races that weekend; Randle claiming race one, Tim Macrow race two and John Martin the feature race on Sunday afternoon.

Randle set the S5000 lap record at the venue which stands at 1m41.2560s – a time expected to be comfortably eclipsed this weekend thanks to four years of development on the car and the addition of a brand-new Hoosier control tyre.

ENTRY LIST: ROUND 5, The Bend Motorsport Park

2 The Fuzzies Game Team BRM Mark Rosser SA S5000 5200 White/Blue
18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron VIC S5000 5200 Red/White
37 Versa Motorsport Cooper Webster VIC S5000 5200 Black/Yellow
41 Wholesale Diesel Kody Garland NSW S5000 5200 Red
48 Nippy’s Versa Motorsport Blake Purdie SA S5000 5200 Orange/White
49 Team Valvoline GRM Jordan Boys VIC S5000 5200 Black/Orange
71 Hangcha Racing Ben Bargwanna VIC S5000 5200 Blue
88 Team BRM / 88 Racing Aaron Love WA S5000 5200 White/Blue/Pink
96 Crown Windows / Hogan Prestige Cars Nic Carroll VIC S5000 5200 Blue/Yellow