Mawson clinches Gold Star after major scare

Joey Mawson. Picture: Daniel Kalisz Photographer/Australian Racing Group

Joey Mawson has won the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship despite a wild off at the start of the final race of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Mawson took eighth in a Main Event won by Garry Rogers Motorsport’s James Golding, more than enough to clinch the Gold Star title, but not without a major scare along the way.

The Team BRM driver needed only to finish the weekend’s feature race to secure championship honours and that seemed a straightforward enough task given he started outside of Golding on the front row.

However, following Golding through the first corner of the race, Mawson’s #27 machine broke free and he sprayed through the gravel trap on drivers’ right.

The 25-year-old managed to rejoin at the rear of the 10-car field, as Luis Leeds took up second spot ahead of GRM team-mate Nathan Herne after making a lightning start.

The other two title contenders in the field, Tim Macrow (Tim Macrow Racing) and Thomas Randle (BRM) emerged fourth and fifth respectively from the opening corners, but the latter was under pressure.

Ricky Capo (Modena Engineering) almost tagged Randle on Lap 1 at Turn 6 and continued to tail Car #49 for several laps.

That was until he dropped a wheel off exiting Moffat Corner on Lap 6 and spun, grazing the inside wall before coming to rest at Bond Bend.

That triggered a Safety Car, wiping out a lead of over five seconds for Golding, but not before Mawson nabbed seventh from Kaleb Ngatoa (BRM) in the kerfuffle which Capo’s incident caused.

The race restarted on Lap 10 with enough time for two more tours of ‘Eastern Creek’.

Mawson, who had ingested debris into his radiators and was also reporting apparent steering damage, would cede seventh back to Ngatoa on the final lap but it mattered not.

Ahead, Golding took the final win of the season by 2.23s from Leeds and Herne, an all-GRM top three.

Randle made the pass for fourth on Macrow, who was carrying wing damage from an early touch, upon the restart and that move would decide who finished second in the championship.

Webster finished the race behind them in sixth, with Braydan Willmington (Willmington Racing) last of the nine to make the chequered flag.

The 2021/22 season starts in September at Sandown.

Results: Main Event

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Laps Race time
1 31 Team Valvoline GRM James Golding 11 20:42.6965
2 96 Garry Rogers Motorsport Luis Leeds 11 20:44.9265
3 29 Team Valvoline GRM Nathan Herne 11 20:45.5008
4 49 Castrol Team ALABAR /Form700 Thomas Randle 11 20:47.6234
5 23 UCS Group Racing TMR Tim Macrow 11 20:48.4773
6 88 ACMFinance.com Racing Cooper Webster 11 20:49.0953
7 15 Team BRM Kaleb Ngatoa 11 20:49.8892
8 27 ALABAR/FORM700 Team BRM Joey Mawson 11 20:50.6803
9 89 Willmington Racing Braydan Willmington 11 20:51.7719
DNF 92 Modena Engineering Ricky Capo 5 7:31.7660

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Joey Mawson 382
2 Thomas Randle 346
3 Tim Macrow 339
4 James Golding 329
5 Luis Leeds 307
6 Nathan Herne 304
7 Cooper Webster 209
8 Ricky Capo 173
9 Kaleb Ngatoa 149
10 Braydan Willmington 148
11 Antonio Astuti 128
12 Tommy Smith 18

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