Two wins in the Australian Formula 4 season opener at Symmons Plains Raceway for Cameron Shields has set a good precedent on him becoming a triple national champion this year.
Shields is competing in the Australian Formula 3, 4 and Ford championships this year, and has already started his F3 and FFord campaigns. He won both races in the opening F3 round of the season.
The 2016 Australian F3 National class champion won four times on the way to third in the F4 standings last year, and was the highest placed of the returnees for this season.
He started his weekend by topping the free practice sessions, and continued that run into qualifying, where he prevailed by 0.0215 seconds over fellow returnee Ryan Suhle.
Suhle jumped Shields at the start of the first race, but it was not long for Shields retook the lead. The pair pushed one another for the rest of the race, and created a large gap to third place man Aaron Love.
FFord graduate Jayden Ojega was the top rookie driver in fourth. He dropped positions at the start, but fought back up the order and was very close to Love at the end of the race.
Team BRM pair Lochie Hughes and Zayd Tones finished fifth and sixth, approximately 10 seconds off the winner, with the remaining four drivers in the race far behind.
Due to the small number of entries, the top five reversed set the grid for the second race rather than the top 10, meaning Hughes started on pole. He lost it almost immediately, with AGI Sport team-mates Ojega and Suhle fighting over the lead until an electrical issue put Ojega out of the race.
This promoted Shields to second, who set the lap record in his pursuit of Suhle. He finished the race a distant four seconds off the winner, with Love once again completing the podium, this time under pressure from Hughes.
Tones finished fifth ahead of Josh and Thomas Smith, who made contact with each other. Antonio Astuti was the last finisher.
Shields won from pole for a second time in the final race, with Suhle once again finishing second. Ojega made up for his race two retirement with his first podium and the fastest lap. Love and Thomas Smith completed the top five.
Race 1 (18 laps)
1 Cameron Sheilds Team BRM 17m00.4175s
2 Ryan Suhle AGI Sport +1.4625s
3 Aaron Love Team BRM +7.3794s
4 Jayden Ojega AGI Sport +7.9722s
5 Lochie Hughes Team BRM +9.3490s
6 Zayd Tones Team BRM +10.2307s
7 Jackson Walls Patrizicorse +17.3814s
8 Josh Smith Team BRM +17.4919s
9 Thomas Smith Team BRM +17.9472
10 Antonio Astuti Astuti Motorsport +23.2656s
Pole: Shields, 55.5731s
Fastest Lap: Shields, 55.9657s
Race 2 (18 laps)
1 Suhle 17m02.5413s
2 Shields +4.6319s
3 Love +9.6391s
4 Hughes +9.9739s
5 Tones +10.4263s
6 Walls +17.7127s
7 J Smith +23.1095s
8 T Smith +23.7389s
9 Astuti +47.8651s
FL: Shields, 55.8236s
Race 3 (18 laps)
1 Shields 17m00.0004s
2 Suhle +1.6255s
3 Ojeda +5.2668s
4 Love +6.8532s
5 T Smith +17.1744s
6 Tones +18.4036s
7 Hughes +21.3460s
8 Walls +28.2514s
9 Astuti +32.4130s
10 J Smith +53.1723s
P: Shields, 55.6713s
FL: Ojeda, 55.8781s
1 Shields 68 ? 2 Suhle 61 ? 3 Love 42 ? 4 Hughes 28 ? 5 Ojeda 27 ? 6 Tones 26 ? 7 Walls 18 ? 8 T Smith 16 ? 9 J Smith 11 ? 10 Astuti 5