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13 February 2022 | General

MACROW PREVAILS IN GOLD STAR SEASON OPENER

TIM MACROW has outlasted and outplayed his opposition to take an early lead in the 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, taking an emphatic victory in a chaotic opening round of the championship at Symmons Plains.

Starting from second in the feature race, Macrow made a picture-perfect start from the outside of the front row to lead the field.

He then was handed a gift when closest rival James Golding speared his Valvoline GRM entry wide at turn four thanks to dust on the circuit, before spending the remainder of the race holding off young-gun Cooper Webster for the race win.

Using all his experience, he powered his UCS Group TMR entry home to record his fifth S5000 race victory and an early lead in the Gold Star – a title he will seek to win for the third time this year.

With Macrow first, Webster a stunning second for Versa Motorsport, Josh Fife finished third on his S5000 debut driving the ACMFinance.com car for 88Racing.

“It’s a massive result for us and we’ve just continued to work on the car throughout the weekend to make it better,” Macrow said.

“We got the car really good by the end. I got a good start and from there it was about controlling the pace.

“I had a few moments at the hairpin but was able to control the race and bring it home. It’s such a good way to start the season and I have to thank all our sponsors for their support.”

Macrow’s cause was aided by a remarkable turn of events for defending champion Joey Mawson, who had a rollercoaster day on Sunday – having earlier claimed the opening race of the season on Saturday.

Mawson and teammate Tim Slade made contact at turn two on the opening lap of the second race, the contact damaging two corners of Mawson’s car and forcing a rapid effort from his team to get it fixed in time for the feature race.

Replacing a front and rear corner and the floor, Team BRM got Mawson to the grid with five seconds to spare, ensuring he could start the race.

From there he finished in fourth position, salvaging championship points in the year-long fight for the Gold Star.

Remarkably, Mawson leaves Symmons Plains with the same results achieved at the venue in his championship year: A win, a new outright lap record and a fourth place result in the feature.

Slade ran third for a bulk of the race before his car stopped late in the race with driveline failure.

After his early off at the hairpin, Golding charged through to fifth position thanks to a series of strong overtakes, with Blake Purdie and Kaleb Ngatoa completing the top seven.

Earlier, Josh Fife won the second sprint race in an impressive drive aboard his 88Racing entry.

Starting from the front row, Fife’s second ever S5000 race was a strong display as he led Tim Macrow home.

James Golding was third and Slade fourth despite his contact with Mawson on the opening lap.

It was the second win for 88Racing in their brief S5000 career and Fife’s first – in what was initially a one-off round for the Canberran.

The next round of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship will see the series return to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the opening round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships, on March 18-20.