The S5000 class has completed its pre-season test at The Bend Motorsport Park ahead of its first round of the all-new championship at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 12-15.
Eleven of the V8-powered single seater race cars were at the South Australian venue today, with a raft of new drivers sampling the cars for the first time.
As many as 16 of the new openwheel race cars will line up at the AGP, headlined by Ferrari F1 legend Rubens Barrichello, as well as reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Alex Premet behind the wheel against some of Australia and New Zealand’s best drivers.
The teams completed six 20 minute test sessions over the course of the day, as well as a media interval including tracking shots and a mock start. There was no official timing collected on the day.
The 11 drivers at the test included Indy 500 driver James Davison, reigning Formula 4 champion Luis Leeds, former Gold Star champion Tim Macrow, Supercars drivers James Golding and Zane Goddard, Brayden Willmington, Jordan Michels (NZ), Ricky Capo, Antonio Astuti, Thomas Maxwell and Barton Mawer.
Today, Leeds was announced as a driver for Garry Rogers Motorsport and will complete the entire 2020 S5000 Championship with the iconic Australian racing team.
The S5000s will contest a six round championship in 2020 and will be broadcast live and free on the channels of Seven in 2020.
“The moment that I did my first out lap, it reminded me of the Indy Lights car that I once drove,” said Davison.
“It’s was a big torquey V8 car, but this definitely has more power, but less tyre grip, and a lot of fun to drive.
“They have achieved the right balance of performance for what they’ve wanted to create here for the drivers and the fans. Yeah, I loved it.
“I’ve run on very old tyres, so I’m curious to see what they are like on some better ones, but so far, I’m loving it and can’t wait to get to the Grand Prix.
“I’m definitely with the right team. The Team BRM guys are fantastic to work with. I can tell that they are very knowledgeable and the moment I walked into their workshop, the professionalism has carried over to the race track.
“There is some pretty exciting race drivers to be competing against – people with Bathurst 1000 wins, Supercars drivers, former Formula 1 drivers. It’s going to be an all-star race.
“This series deserves that and hopefully we can capture and take over as many of the F1 fans at Albert Park.”
“These cars are insane. I only did a few laps at Phillip Island in the wet last year, and I didn’t get to send it out of corners,” said Leeds.
“At the Bend, it’s a great track, perfect for these cars and I’ve been loving it. Working with the GRM team has been brilliant and really grateful for the opportunity to race with an iconic Australian team. To be involved with them in this championship is special.
“As a driver, I’ll be there to win. Last year, I raced Formula 4 at the Grand Prix, qualified on pole and won the event. This time, I’ll be racing against some of my childhood heroes, so it will be different.
“I’m going to the Grand Prix with the intention to do my best and to perform well for the team.”