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HomeNewsCult hero signs full-season S5000 deal

Cult hero signs full-season S5000 deal

AUSTRALIAN motorsport cult hero Matt McLean will contest the full 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

McLean, the 2021 Super2 rookie of the year, has signed with Versa Motorsport, which is also fielding Blake Purdie and Cooper Webster at next weekend’s Symmons Plains season-opener.

“I’m seriously excited to run the year with Versa Motorsport in S5000,” said McLean.

“I’ve known Toby (Pope, Versa team principal) for 10 years from back in the karting days and have been friends ever since, and to receive this opportunity from him has been a very special moment for me.

“Cooper and I both won Junior and Senior National Championships simultaneously whilst racing for the same brand back in 2016, so it’s cool to be back in the same camp with him just like old days.

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“I sampled the S5000 with the team back at an evaluation at The Bend and was keen on putting a deal together straightaway.

“Our pace seems strong, and in combination with the team’s professionalism I think we’ll have a very solid year.”

The 26-year-old has also been tipped for a Super2 seat with MW Motorsport. It’s understood McLean tested MWM’s ex-Tickford Racing Mustang yesterday at Winton, although there has been no confirmation of a deal as yet.

Matt McLean. Pic: Supplied

Regardless, Pope is pumped to see how his new recruit fares.

“Matt has shown his talent throughout his strong karting career, two years in Super2 and claiming both the Mike Kable (Young Gun) Award and Rookie of the Year shows how good he is,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to have him join our team for the season ahead and fight for wins.

“He comes to S5000 battle-hardened like all our drivers and team members that join the team we look forward to all learning from each other.

“It’s clear that when guys are getting to the Supercar level or wanting to go overseas to race, S5000 is the best place for them to really develop their skills.

“(Thomas) Randle, (James) Golding in the last two years honed their skills there while waiting for the right opportunity, (Nathan) Herne now is in the USA on the path to NASCAR and Cooper got offered an open-wheel seat in the UK on the path to F1.

“The Race Tasmania field will have four Supercars drivers and some of the best young talents in the country – it’s going to be great.”

Supercars co-drivers Zane Goddard and Jordan Boys will also be on the S5000 grid at Symmons Plains.

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