Drivers contesting the opening round of the 2020 Australian S5000 Championship at Albert Park will be competing for the Alan Jones Cup, with the former world champion set to present the trophy after Sunday’s feature race.
The Australian Racing Group has also confirmed that each of the six S5000 Championship rounds in 2020 will honour an Australian motorsport star from the original Formula 5000 era.
For the opening event at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, coinciding with the 40th anniversary celebration of Jones’ F1 title win in 1980, the choice for Round 1 was straightforward.
Preceding his success in Formula 1, Jones cut his teeth in Formula 5000 racing in Europe, the USA and Australia – most famously driving an iconic Theodore Racing Lola T332 owned by Hong Kong businessman Teddy Yip to race wins in both the 1976 SCCA/USAC and 1977 Australian (Rothmans series) championships.
“AJ has been a great supporter of the S5000 concept from the start, and has been there to run ideas past all the way,” said S5000 category manager Chris Lambden.
“It’s terrific that he is the first of the legends linked to our events this year.”
For his part, Jones’ support for S5000 is unequivocal.
“Yes, I’m a strong supporter – it’s something that’s been lacking from Australian motorsport for a while,” said Jones.
“S5000 will provide a terrific challenge for young Australian open-wheeler drivers, and provide the environment in which to show what they’ve got in terms of serious open-wheeler credentials.
“I reckon Australia’s next world champion will come from S5000.”
S5000 will run to its championship format at the Grand Prix, with qualifying on Thursday afternoon, Races 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday respectively, all leading to Race 3, the feature event, on Sunday.
The other legendary Formula 5000 drivers set to be honoured as part of the 2020 S5000 Championship will be confirmed in due course.