Joey Mawson has enjoyed another successful season in the S5000 Australian Drivers' Championship having claimed back-to-back Motorsport Australia Gold Stars.
With the series having its season finale as part of the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley, Mawson didn’t have much success across the three races, but had done enough in the previous four rounds to put himself in the box seat for consecutive titles.
Qualifying for the final round in fifth place, Mawson made up a position in the opening race of the weekend to finish fourth, before reaching the chequered flag sixth in the second race, which gave him an unassailable lead for the Championship.
Unfortunately, he was hit behind by Tim Macrow in the final race and was forced to retire, allowing Aaron Cameron to win the race and the final round.
However, it did little to dampen his spirits as Mawson became just the ninth driver in Australian history to successfully defend an Australian Drivers' Championship.
In what was a season of ups and down, the New South Welshman was too good throughout the year as he claimed five wins, two of which were feature races, a further three podiums and two top five placings across the five rounds.
Despite a tough end to the season, Mawson was thrilled to win the title and help the Adelaide-based Team BRM take out its record-breaking ninth Gold Star.
"It feels amazing. We had one objective this season which was to go back-to-back," Mawson said post-race.
"We’ve had a few ups and downs this season, we didn’t start out on the best foot in Tasmania in that incident with Sladey, and we had to play catch up from there.
"To be a part of history is amazing, it means a lot to me, especially being able to do it here in my own country. It’s very special to have my mum and dad and a few friends here. I can’t believe it’s happened again and I can’t wait for it to properly sink in.
"I remember going into the Grand Prix weekend, my team boss Mark Rundle told me, the weekend is going to make or break the championship. With all the extra cars we were either going to win a lot of points or lose them. We had to make sure we were on it.
"That was my best weekend to date in the S5000 championship and it really paid off there.
"The Gold Star, you’re in the history books. It’s very special. My end goal is to end in Supercars and I hope these two championships put me forward towards that goal. I’m taking it all in and going to enjoy it and then focus on what the future holds.
"To make history together with Team BRM is fantastic. I have to thank those boys, particularly in Tasmania when they kept me in the championship hunt by getting me on the grid in the main race. I have to thank my supporters, ALABAR, Form 700, the Podium group who have gave me a career to get to this point, my mum and dad and my partners.”
Finishing the year in second and third respectively was James Golding and the season finale’s race one winner Cooper Webster, while that final race incident with Mawson saw Macrow drop down to fourth.
Rounding out the top five was Aaron Cameron, who made it two consecutive feature race wins thanks to his efforts in Darwin and in Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships last month.
Click here to see full results from the season.
The S5000 cars will again be in action later this year with the three-round S5000 Tasman Series to begin in October at Surfers Paradise as part of the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.
1. Joey Mawson 428
2. James Golding 375
3. Cooper Webster 372
4. Tim Macrow 366
5. Aaron Cameron 278
6. Blake Purdie 196
7. Nathan Herne 195
8. Kaleb Ngatoa 177
9. Shae Davies 119
10. Adam Garwood 91
S5000 Tasman Series Calendar
Surfers Paradise Street Circuit - 29-30 October
Mount Panorama, Bathurst - 11-13 November
Sydney Motorsport Park - 18-20 November