Supercars young gun James Golding is the unlikely winner of Australia’s first S5000 feature race at Sandown Park.
Golding started smartly in the 25-lap main event and was in the right place at the right time when Alex Davison triggered an early finish with a massive crash on the back straight that damaged the safety fencing.
Golding was a late addition to the S5000 field and proved his potential when he ran in the leading group from the start of the action at Sandown. He was quick, poised and trouble-free when other more-experienced drivers made mistakes, starting from pole
Former grand prix star Rubens Barrichello took second place and John Martin, who was doing double duty driving a TCR Series Honda Civic at Sandown, was awarded third place.
“It wasn’t just handed to me. It was a bit sketchy out there, especially on cold tyres,” says Golding.
“I was looking forward to the race. I was really looking forwards to a battle with Rubens.”
The Brazilian also lamented the early finish.
“It’s a pity we didn’t really get to race. But it was great to be here,” says Barrichello.
“The message is positive. We had plenty of positives this weekend.”
Two earlier S5000 Sandown sprints produced some great high-speed action in the all-new single-seater series, but the finale never got into gear.
Mid-fielder Ricky Capo triggered a Safety Car intervention when he spun on the first lap and then race leader Tim Macrow went backwards into the gravel trap at the first corner on the re-start.
Once their cars were removed the scene was set for a 20-lap battle but officials called an early halt when Davison crashed while battling in the midfield against Matt Brabham.