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Australian open-wheel pathway established

THE beginnings of an Australian open-wheel pathway have been created with a prize-based opportunity to enter S5000.

It comes ahead of the inaugural Australian Formula Open series, which caters to varied machinery such as Formula 3, Formula 4, Formula Toyota and Formula Renault cars.

The 2023 title winner will be awarded a fully funded test in a Tim Macrow Racing-prepared S5000, plus free entry to their first S5000 round the following season.

“We have worked hard to build Australian Formula Open in the last six months and had a successful debut at Phillip Island late last year,” category founder Tim Macrow said.

“Our discussions with (the Australian Racing Group, which owns S5000) were about trying to boost the whole open-wheel landscape in Australia so there is a logical progression from one to another.

“It’s all operating under the one banner with Motorsport Australia and there’s now a clear pathway from state level open-wheel racing right through to major events like the Adelaide 500.

S5000 at the Adelaide 500. Pic: Supplied

“S5000 has already proved its position as a place where drivers can progress into top level categories anywhere, so going from AFO into that makes all the sense in the world.

“I’m excited to support it via Tim Macrow Racing and we’re really pleased ARG has agreed to support the plans with the testing and free entry to the first round as well.”

S5000 category manager Ben McMellan echoed those sentiments regarding the importance of a proper pathway.

“As S5000 continues to establish itself in Australia, creating progression into the category was important,” he said.

“Australian Formula Open will be well-run and will give drivers the skills they need to race at the pointy-end in S5000.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with the AFO team and Tim to build the relationship this year.

“It’s a good thing for open-wheel racing in Australia and our aim is to build that moving forward.”

Formula Ford is of course prominent in Australia too and also has a pathway to offer, the national championship winner having the opportunity to test a Dick Johnson Racing Supercar in an arrangement that has been running for multiple years now.

The 2023 AFO season kicks off in early March at Winton Motor Raceway.

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