Cameron wins bruising Darwin S5000 finale

Aaron Cameron

Aaron Cameron has won the final race of the 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

Only eight of the 12 starters made it to the chequered flag in Race 3 of Round 5 at Hidden Valley, and while Team BRM’s Joey Mawson was among the four who did not, he had already done enough in the day’s earlier encounter to wrap up the Gold Start title.

Cameron and Garry Rogers Motorsport team-mate Nathan Herne started from the front row and the former took a clear lead to the first corner as the latter made a slow getaway.

Herne had lost positions to Versa Motorsport team-mates Cooper Webster and John Martin, plus another GRM driver in James Golding, by the time Mawson challenged him for fifth spot at the Turn 6 hairpin.

That caused the pack to check up as Herne and Mawson made side-to-side contact, with the latter shunted by Tim Macrow (Tim Macrow Racing), then Blake Purdie (Versa) and Kaleb Ngatoa (BRM) coming together on the way to Turn 7.

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Mawson and his damaged #23 entry ran off the road when he tried to negotiate the next genuine left-hander, the Turn 10/Turn 11 complex, and he came to rest in the gravel trap.

That drew a Safety Car, bringing Cameron back to the field after he had already gone a full second clear of Webster, while Herne and Mawson came back to pit lane to retire from the contest.

The restart came on Lap 5 but, before they got there, Golding weaved after the Safety Car lights had been extinguished and he would duly be slapped with a five-second time penalty.

Cameron cleared out again and would win by 1.9187s after a time-certain 17 laps of racing, with Webster second and Jordan Boys (Versa) classified third.

Golding had taken the chequered flag in third position after putting a tidy move on Martin at the start of Lap 9, but the penalty waiting for him caused Car #31 to be relegated to fourth in the end.

Boys had passed Martin later on that same lap at Turn 5, while Purdie took fifth after he lunged down the inside of the former A1GP driver with tyres smoking at Turn 6 on Lap 11.

Martin thus finished sixth, ahead of Tim Berryman (BRM) and Sebastian Amadio (GRM), while Ngatoa was also a DNF after relenting to the pits midway through the piece.

Results: Race 3

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Laps Race time
1 18 GRM EFS 4×4 Accessories Aaron Cameron 17 20:52.1055
2 37 Versa Motorsport Cooper Webster 17 20:54.0242
3 49 Versa Motorsport Jordan Boys 17 20:58.3445
4 31 Team Valvoline GRM James Golding 17 21:01.0156
5 48 Nippy’s Blake Purdie 17 21:01.5578
6 24 Versa Motorsport John Martin 17 21:05.2391
7 3 ALABAR/Form700 Team BRM Tim Berryman 17 21:28.4396
8 22 Amadio Motorsport GRM Sebastien Amadio 17 21:28.8104
DNF 15 Team BRM Kaleb Ngatoa 8 11:23.7323
DNF 29 Team Valvoline GRM Nathan Herne
DNF 1 ALABAR/Form700 Team BRM Joey Mawson
DNF 23 UCS Group Racing TMR Tim Macrow

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