Tim Macrow is Australia’s first S5000 winner after a torrid tussle with John Martin at Sandown Park.
Martin started from pole position but Macrow jumped him to run at the front, and then resisted his rival as he also re-set the lap record at the Melbourne circuit with a time of 65.01 seconds.
Supercars driver James Golding was the surprise packet, claiming third, as former F1 racer Rubens Barrichello could only manage seventh after an early dust-up.
The S5000 single-seaters are fast and loud at Sandown, and not easy to drive, according to Macrow.
“They are really physical to drive. You need to be fit. They get your attention,” he says.
“I made an error on lap two and nearly binned it into Turn 2. I had to settle down after that.”
Macrow concentrated on quick, clean laps as Martin ran him down and challenged several times on the downhill swoops into the Dandenong Road corner.
“There was water on the road there so I was taking it easy. Then I saw him coming so I put my foot down again,” Macrow says.
His eventual winning margin was only 0.45 second, although Golding was five seconds further back as he led in Matt Brabham and TCR stand-out Will Brown.
Barrichello was never a contender, after a first-lap bump left him with bent steering. He fell to ninth but recovered to seventh, although his crew is also checking to see if his V8 engine has lost power.
For Brown, whose fifth will put him onto pole position for the second S5000 race tomorrow, the category is fast and fun.
“It’s awesome. I had a ball. We don’t quite have top-two pace, and we had too much understeer when the front tyres went off,” Brown says.
“But we’re on pole for the second race so we’ll tune it up and see what we can do.”
Results: S5000 Qualifying Race, Sandown
|1||23||Tim Macrow||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||16||17:41.4160|
|2||24||John Martin||AGI Sport||S5000||16||17:41.8671|
|3||31||James Golding||Garry Rogers Motorsport||S5000||16||17:46.5619|
|4||83||Matthew Brabham||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||16||17:48.2286|
|5||38||Will Brown||Eggleston Motorsport||S5000||16||17:52.4817|
|6||8||Alex Davison||Team BRM||S5000||16||17:53.9244|
|7||111||Rubens Barrichello||Team BRM||S5000||16||17:56.5360|
|8||34||Ricky Capo||Modena Engineering||S5000||16||18:05.3495|
|9||27||Barton Mawer||Milldun Motorsport||S5000||16||18:13.9251|
|10||33||Tim Berryman||Team BRM||S5000||16||18:17.1131|
|11||97||Taylor Cockerton||MTEC Motorsport||S5000||16||18:27.7924|
|12||11||Michael Gibson||AMC Finance||S5000||16||18:39.4766|
|DNF||22||Tom Alexander||AGI Sport||S5000||2||2:32.9546|