Cameron leads Tasman Series after thrilling opener

Monday 22 November, 2021
Aaron Cameron leads the Shannons S5000 Tasman Series. (Photos: Jack Martin)
Aaron Cameron has enjoyed a stellar start in the two-event Shannons S5000 Tasman Series, leading the standings after the opening round.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series star’s swap from tin tops to open wheelers didn’t seem to faze him as he ended the meeting with a comfortable 19-point lead over Roberto Merhi and Tim Macrow. 
With the series enjoying three races as a support category during the Repco Supercars Championship’s Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight at Sydney Motorsport Park, Cameron picked up a podium and feature race win to help him to the summit of the series standing. 
However before Cameron could enjoy a strong run, it was polesitter Macrow who made history, claiming the first win of the season after an epic duel with Luis Leeds. 
In an incident-filled race, Macrow ended up claiming the win over Leeds as the race was reduced in laps due to the multiple safety car periods. Finishing in third place was former Supercars driver James Golding.
In race two, it was rookie Jordan Boys who stole the show with a commanding three-second victory over international entry Robert Merhi. 
Having started on the front row courtesy of the reverse grid, Boys was untroubled throughout the 14-lap outing, which had far less drama than its preceding race. 
Although Merhi started behind Cameron for the second race, he caught up to him quickly as the duo enjoyed a longstanding battle. The TCR Australia regular was forced to defend multiple attacks from the former Formula 1 driver. 
Unfortunately Cameron couldn’t hold the Spaniard, and Merhi eventually squeezed past on lap 10, giving himself less than four laps to make up seven seconds on Boys, the Super2 star who was enjoying a faultless drive.
Merhi tried hard and reduced the gap significantly, but couldn’t catch Boys, while Cameron crossed the line six seconds behind Merhi to pick up his first podium of the season. 
For the weekend’s feature race, the heavens opened and added plenty more challenges to the already difficult circuit, but Cameron remained focused, charging to the lead from fourth place on the opening lap in treacherous conditions. 
From the moment he passed leader Macrow, who started the race on pole, Cameron delivered a comprehensive performance and stormed to the victory, having had no real threats throughout the 10 laps. 
While Cameron eased home to victory, behind him was the entertaining battle for the minor podium positions as Merhi and Macrow both lost out to this year’s Australian Gold Star winner, Joey Mawson. 
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Mawson had a terrible opening two race results, but found his rhythm on the wet track in the finale where others couldn’t as he capitalised on the mistakes of both drivers ahead of him to slot into second.
With both Merhi and Macrow spinning at different points of the race, it was the former who enjoyed the last spot on the podium, eventually finishing 10 seconds off Mawson and seven seconds ahead of Macrow. 
Despite an entertaining display from the trio, the weekend belonged to Cameron who was thrilled with his opening round win. 

“It was absolutely nuts, starting under the Safety Car and first time in the wet in these things,” Cameron said post victory. 

“It was awesome, trying to keep it on the black stuff, which we did, and it played out pretty well for us 

“We kept on the black stuff and it was great to get the win for the GRM (Garry Rogers Motorsport) boys." 

The Shannons S5000 Tasman Series now heads to Mount Panorama for the remaining four races as part of the epic Repco Bathurst 1000 six-day extravaganza.  

Championship standings after three races.

Aaron Cameron 105
Roberto Merhi 86
Tim Macrow 86
James Golding 65
Joey Mawson 57
Luis Leeds 48
Cooper Webster 48
Jordan Boys 39
Ben Bargwanna 35
Blake Purdie 34
Yoshiaki Katayama 34
Nathan Herne 19
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