Joey Mawson is plotting a less chaotic run to Gold Star glory the second time around as the S5000 Australian Drivers' Championship is decided this weekend in the Northern Territory.
Mawson sealed the title last year despite a scare; only needing to make the finish in the final race at Sydney Motorsport Park, he endured a wild ride to eighth place.
He's in an even cushier position now, entering the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown with a 55-point buffer in hand.
Only Tim Macrow, James Golding, and Cooper Webster remain in mathematical contention.
With last year's experience under his belt, Mawson feels up to the task of going back-to-back.
“The margin last year was actually 39 points going into the last round – 16 points more is useful,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“We're going to take it session by session. Obviously starting the weekend, like always you want to qualify up the front, but after qualifying you have just got to really assess the situation at the time.
“The approach has always been the same: you can't afford to DNF in this championship because the points are so valuable, and even more so now with the championship on the line.
“So, same approach, but definitely for the last race, I won't be making the same mistake as last year and putting as much to risk. Going into the last race I'll do whatever needs to be done to come away with the championship.”
Just eight drivers are in the history books as consecutive Gold Star winners: Bib Stillwell, Spencer Martin, Kevin Bartlett, Alfredo Costanzo, John Bowe, Mark Skaife, Paul Stokell, and Simon Wills most recently in 1999-2000.
“It would mean a huge amount to me,” Mawson said of the prospect of becoming a two-time winner.
“You're part of history if you're a double, back-to-back Gold Star winner.
“The award itself is very prestigious so to do it two times in a row would be absolutely amazing and especially here in my home country, it's really truly special.
“I knew how much the one last year meant so to be able to have the opportunity to do it again would be huge.”
S5000 practice begins this morning at 09:40 ACST/local time (10:10 AEST).
Qualifying and Race 1 will be held tomorrow, with another two 23-lap races on Sunday.