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Young gun devastated for causing Bathurst crash

AARON Cameron has vowed to learn from a costly mistake early in the Bathurst 12 Hour that took two Silver Class entries out of contention.

The 23-year-old Cameron was making his GT racing debut in the Valmont Racing Mercedes-AMG alongside Marcel Zalloua, Sergio Pires and Duvashen Padayachee.

The incident occurred in the fourth hour when Cameron attempted to lap Theo Koundouris’ Supabarn Audi at Skyline, contact sending both cars spinning down the hill.

The Mercedes suffered race-ending rear-on contact with the concrete wall on the entry to the Dipper, while damage to the Audi cost it more than 10 laps.

“It was purely me screwing up,” Cameron told V8 Sleuth, having been leading the Silver Class at the time of the accident.

“They said in the drivers’ briefing about the Pro (being careful when passing Amateur drivers).

“In this situation I’d say I’m the Pro because he is an Am driver, and I was too confident and went for a move that wasn’t there.

“You look back at it now and it’s hindsight. I’m sorry to the Koundouris brothers and (David) Russell and Webby (Jonathon Webb) in that car because it’s my fault.

“I haven’t spoken to Theo yet but I’ll go up there and have a chat and apologise for the incident.

“It’s a bummer for everyone. The whole Tigani Valmont crew were doing a really nice job, Serg had done a mint first stint, same with Duvashen starting.

“We’re packing up in the ‘am’ and the race doesn’t finish until the ‘pm’, so it’s shit. It’s just not good enough.”

Aaron Cameron (left), with James Golding in 2022. Pic: Australian Racing Group

Koundouris said he’d been unaware Cameron was attempting an overtake.

“It’s not a good feeling,” Koundouris said of the accident.

“I didn’t realise he was (there). I think he’s just come in too hot and hit my rear. I really don’t know where he came from.

“We went past a slower car just before that and I think he’s just come over too hot and couldn’t pull it up and, I don’t know, pile-drived me.”

It was a sad end to what had been a positive weekend for TCR and S5000 racer Cameron, who is recognised as one of the up-and-coming talents in the sport.

The combined efforts of Cameron and Padayachee allowed the youngster to contest the pole Shootout on Saturday and they started the race from seventh.

Cameron was making his GT3 debut aboard the Mercedes. Pic: Ross Gibb

“It was so much fun,” said Cameron of driving the Mercedes, having made two previous 12 Hour starts in MARC V8s.

“The first time getting in the car on Friday for the first practice, then getting into the Shootout and to do a 2:02 around Bathurst was pretty cool.

“They are a whole lot of fun and I was really happy with my pace in the stint.

“I was feeling good, just not enough experience around other cars and endurance racing is the big learning from it.

“I just need to take my time a bit more and not push these things.”

The Mercedes was involved in a high-profile incident just half hour into the race, as contact between Padayachee and Christopher Haase resulted in the latter Audi’s retirement.

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