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Cameron closing in on rare double

AARON Cameron is one race meeting away from securing a rare slice of history.

Following a bizarre series of twists and turns, Cameron has found himself in the box seat to win his first Gold Star, given that he leads the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship by 84 points with only the Adelaide finale to come.

Cameron has previously won major silverware through S5000, claiming the 2021 Tasman Series in controversial circumstances.

Just two drivers have completed the Gold Star/Tasman Cup double before: Graham McRae and Simon Wills.

Cameron meandered in the upper midfield through the first half of the S5000 season before benefitting from free kicks as the top three missed rounds.

James Golding withdrew after Round 3 to focus on his Repco Supercars Championship commitments, Joey Mawson was suspended due to a supplement investigation, and Cooper Webster was absent from Sydney Motorsport Park due to a calendar clash with GB4.

Webster was back at The Bend, winning the opening two races before Cameron prevailed in the finale, and will enter Adelaide second in the standings.

“It’s been a weird season with who has been there and who hasn’t been there,” Cameron admitted to V8 Sleuth.

“It was a real challenge for us doing two categories (S5000 and TCR) for the first three rounds, probably a lot harder than we expected and as a result we were just finishing and that was sort of it – not exactly what we want to do.

“Once it got away and we were doing one car on a weekend, it was very valuable and I think the results have seemed to be a lot better since then.

“And at Tailem Bend, the GRM cars rolled out really, really well considering Cooper and Blake (Purdie) had been there testing the week before, so pretty happy.”

Aaron Cameron at The Bend. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

Cameron pointed to the stark differences between S5000 and TCR equipment as to why double duties had proven difficult.

“Obviously one is rear-wheel-drive, one is front-wheel-drive,” he said.

“Although the S5000 has the push-to-pass, a lot of the damage is still done in the first part of the race and I just couldn’t adjust quick enough.

“Like it was okay, we were around that third/fourth sort of range, but some guys like Joey and Cooper and Jimmy at the start of the year, they would just get in and go.

“So I think we would just lose out in the first five laps of the race and then by the end of the race, we were sort of matching them for speed but all of the damage is done and you’re just sitting where you are.”

Cameron believes his pace in Sydney was genuine enough to be race-winning even if Webster and co had been present.

“I think if you look at the speed difference, we had four or five tenths over people at Sydney in qualifying to second, and then you go to Tailem Bend and me and Cooper were up there but even everyone else was only like two tenths behind,” he explained.

“So I think even if Cooper was at Sydney, I’m very confident that our speed was actually quite genuine and, not unbeatable, but probably race-winning, same as Tailem Bend.

“Going into Adelaide, obviously last year we got the pole there and the feature race win as well, so I suppose we’re on a bit of a high now with confidence and we can hopefully finish this thing out the way we want to.”

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