Team BRM’s Cameron Shields has won today’s opening race for the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.
It was a lights-to-flag win for the CAMS Foundation Rising Star in the 11 laps and the Toowoomba driver did well to defend the race lead from championship leader Nick Rowe of AGI Sport.
“I did get a really good start, got away and in the first few laps I did pull a comfortable lead,” Shields said.
“Nick [Rowe] had a lot of pace towards the end… the car started to go off a little bit and Nick started to catch up. We’ll make a few changes now and be back there for Race Two.”
The duo were in a league of their own up the front, with only half a second separating Shields and Rowe after 11 laps. While Rowe was all over the gearbox of Shields in the final laps, the time certain finished put a premature end to Rowe’s race win chances.
“We didn’t quite have it at the start there. But the car was mega, had good pace. Got close, but not quite close enough,” Rowe said.
Zagame Autosport’s Tyler Everingham recovered well to finish in his qualifying position of third. The Dubbo teenager struggled with early race understeer only to later recover and claim a podium spot.
“I got a bit lucky in the last couple of laps. Struggled with a fair bit of understeer from about lap four, so I really struggled with pace at the start which caused me to lose two places. Luckily I got them back, it was a good finish,” Everingham said.
Strong winds have characterised this weekend’s preparations at Sydney Motorsport Park. While the severity of the wind has fallen away on Saturday, the cars remain sensitive to the conditions.
“It’s probably got worse because it’s a crosswind. You can feel the transition from Turn 1 when you go into the headwind. Race Two should be good tomorrow, hopefully I get a good result after we tune the car up a bit and dial out the understeer,” Everingham said.
While Shields got the initial jump on Rowe at the race start, further down the field Aaron Love and Harley Haber had a coming together on the approach to the sweeping first corner. AGI Sport’s Haber later recovered well to seventh.
Team BRM’s Simon Fallon was in the contention for the race podium alongside teammate Liam Lawson. The duo enjoyed a tight scrap in the early laps, before an unfortunate coming together on lap five put an end to Fallon’s podium aspirations.
Lawson recovered to sixth place, two-tenths off fifth placed Ryan Suhle who persevered with a broken front wing throughout the race.
Lap nine saw the race’s final coming together, with Jordan Mazzaroli and Zane Morse colliding on the approach to the final corner. Both cars were unable to restart and were not classified in the final results.
Two more races await the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship tomorrow, with two 14 lap races at 9:15am and 11:35am. Both races will be televised live on Fox Sports (506).
Final Race One Results
1. Cameron Shields – Team BRM: 16:59.4685
2. Nick Rowe – AGI Sport: +0.5668
3. Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport: +8.8675
4. Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport: +10.9230
5. Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport: +18.1105
6. Liam Lawson – Team BRM: +18.3764
7. Harley Haber – AGI Sport: +20.3588
8. Zak Best – AGI Sport: +21.7290
9. Aaron Love – Team BRM: +54.7500 (30 second penalty applied)
DNF. Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD
DNF. Zane Morse – Team BRM (5 championship points docked)
DNF. Simon Fallon – Team BRM