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Saturday, May 25, 2024


S5000 will drop off the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix support card next year, Matt Braid has conceded.

The Australian Racing Group CEO made the admission in light of Formula 2 and Formula 3 coming to Albert Park from 2023, as was announced in June.

Those categories, combined with the Repco Supercars Championship which has one more year on its existing contract with the event, should just about take up the entire track time not dedicated to F1.

Thus, there’s no room for S5000, which made its Albert Park debut (briefly) in 2020 and put on a good show in April this year with a 16-car field.

“We have got a great relationship with the Grand Prix Corporation; they were very pleased with 5000s, the way we performed this year,” Braid said.

“But I think from what we understand, given F2 and F3, logistically it is going to be very difficult to go forward there.

“I’d be very surprised if we see anything else other than Supercars at the Grand Prix now, not only with the number of categories that they have but also the structure that F2 and F3 need at an event, it makes it very difficult.

“We would love to do that, we would love to be racing at the Grand Prix, but logistically I don’t think it is going to be feasible unfortunately.”

Tim Macrow. Pic: Australian Racing Group

Braid lamented the timing of COVID-19, which ruined the inaugural championship season and has had the open-wheel category playing catch-up ever since.

S5000 has at times drawn criticism for its low field numbers, on occasion having dipped into single digits this year.

“For us, it’s not a case of breakeven numbers but to put on a good show you want to see a good number of cars on the track,” said Braid.

“We have been working very closely with the competitor base to keep building where we go with S5000, which is a bit like GT; what events make sense, what do your team sponsors want out of this, et cetera.

“So I think we will continue to develop and evolve S5000 to be a bigger and better and stronger category.

“Unfortunately we lost a lot of momentum during the COVID time.

“If we had come off the back of those two launch events in 2019 and gone into a strong 2020, I think we would have a much stronger category, but unfortunately we didn’t get enough time to get the momentum to take that category forward as strongly as we could.”

S5000 will be back in action later this year for its three-part Tasman Series, taking in events at the Gold Coast 500, Bathurst International and Adelaide 500.

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