Tim Macrow created a piece of history when he topped the first official practice session for Australia’s thundering new S5000 category at Sandown Park.
Former grand prix star Rubens Barrichello led 13 freshly-finished cars into action in the first against-the-clock hit-out for the class, ahead of races at Sandown tomorrow and Sunday.
Macrow used his test driving experience in the V8-powered single-seater to finish ahead of young gun Will Brown, with Supercars regular James Golding in third and Barrichello in sixth.
Macrow’s fastest time was 1 minute 06.7447 seconds, significantly quicker than the 1:09.0987 set by Chaz Mostert when he set the Supercars benchmark in 2017 in a Ford Falcon.
“It’s really good to get off to that start. I was probably being a bit conservative. There is definitely more to come,” says Macrow.
“No massive surprises, but it’s a handful when the rear tyres are cold.”
For Brown, who is doing double duty in S5000 and the TCR Australian Series, the contrast between a front-wheel drive turbo hatchback and the roaring rear-drive S5000 was a shock.
“It definitely gets your attention. I had a ball. I thought I would be shitting myself, but I had a ball,” says Brown.
He was one of the drivers who explored the limits, sliding off at one point but causing no damage to his car.
“I ran off the road but I didn’t hit anything,” he says.
Barrichello was having his first look at Sandown after a first-up shake-down at Phillip Island and was quickly into an engineering debrief with his crew to find more speed.
“The grip level is so low here, compared to Phillip Island. And it’s a bit bumpier. There was only 20 minutes to learn the track,” says Barrichello.
He is expecting more speed through the Sandown weekend and taking no chances.
“I’m being cautious and learning my way. You have to pay attention.
“But I’m always happy when I have a steering wheel in my hands.”
Behind the top three, John Martin – who is also doing double duty with his TCR Honda – was fourth on 1:07.6645, with third-generation racer Matt Brabham next on 1:07.6951 and Barrichello on 1:08.0967.
Results: S5000 Practice 1, Sandown
|1||23||Tim Macrow||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||1:06.7447|
|2||38||Will Brown||Eggleston Motorsport||S5000||1:07.1826||00.4379|
|3||31||James Golding||Garry Rogers Motorsport||S5000||1:07.5724||00.8277|
|4||24||John Martin||AGI Sport||S5000||1:07.6645||00.9198|
|5||83||Matthew Brabham||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||1:07.6951||00.9504|
|6||111||Rubens Barrichello||Team BRM||S5000||1:08.0967||01.3520|
|7||8||Alex Davison||Team BRM||S5000||1:08.2747||01.5300|
|8||34||Ricky Capo||Modena Engineering||S5000||1:08.4288||01.6841|
|9||33||Tim Berryman||Team BRM||S5000||1:09.5461||02.8014|
|10||22||Tom Alexander||AGI Sport||S5000||1:10.3655||03.6208|
|11||27||Barton Mawer||Milldun Motorsport||S5000||1:11.9512||05.2065|
|12||11||Michael Gibson||Australian Racing Enterprises||S5000||1:13.3221||06.5774|
|13||97||Taylor Cockerton||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||1:13.6812||06.9365|