Macrow: Drive for three starts here
TIM MACROW says he will push as hard as possible in a quest to join an elite group of racing legends and become a three-time Gold Star winner, having commenced his season in style at Symmons Plains.
The Melbournian pieced together a consistent start to his weekend at Symmons Plains, qualifying fifth and finishing the opening race in the same position – before taking advantage of the reverse-grid affair in race two to finish second.
Those points allowed him to start from the front row of the finale’, where he made a picture-perfect start from second position to lead the field into turn one – the UCS Group TMR car never headed from there.
It was Macrow’s 35th win in an Australian Drivers’ Championship race – the most of all time – his fifth in S5000 competition and his first in the points-weighted Feature Race, too.
It also sees him leading the championship by 13 points heading into the second round on his home turf of Phillip Island, next month.
Only five drivers have ever won the Australian Drivers’ Championship on three occasions or more; Mark Skaife, Paul Stokell and John McCormack the only three-time champions – while Alfie Costanzo and Bib Stillwell have four each.
Macrow beat young-guns Cooper Webster and Josh Fife home in the Tasmanian feature to lead the standings, while fellow championship favourites James Golding (4th) and Joey Mawson (5th) already find themselves 25 points or more behind the experienced driver.
“You couldn’t have asked for much more,” Macrow said.
“We pushed hard in the second race because we knew a good result there, coupled with the dramas Joey and Tim had, would give us a great position on the grid for the feature.
“From there we just pressed on. I did my best to throw it away a few times at the hairpin because there was so much stuff down on the road, but the car was good and I was able to keep Fife behind me.
“It’s such a good start to the season. We think some of the circuits coming up will really suit us so to start so strong is important.
“I’m throwing everything at this to win the title this year. We certainly won’t leave anything behind.”
Versa Motorsport’s impressive debut continued with a pair of podium finishes for Cooper Webster locking him into second in the championship, in just his sixth S5000 event.
The 18-year-old from Victoria chased Macrow hard in the feature race, challenging for the lead early before settling into second by the time the flag fell.
Perhaps an even bigger surprise was the performance from 88Racing’s Josh Fife, who scored a maiden S5000 victory in race two before chasing Macrow and Webster throughout the feature race to grab a trophy, and third in the standings.
Title contender James Golding sits fourth in the standings, a moment where he ran wide at the hairpin in the feature costing the Valvoline GRM driver – dropping from second to last before charging his way through the field to salvage a haul of points.
Salvaging points was the name of the game for defending champion Mawson, too, who rebounded to fifth in the standings despite his race two non-finish.
The Gold Star returns with the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships at Phillip Island on March 18-20.
Check out the full S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship standings here.