STORY: WILL DALE
PLACES on the grid for the inaugural S5000 races are now up for grabs, with Garry Rogers Motorsport now in a position to take orders for cars and arrange leases for the category’s debutrounds.
The technical and parts specifications of the new V8-powered open wheelers have now been locked in after a rigourous testing program with the initial prototype, with the build of the 14 cars on track to be completed ahead of the category’s scheduled debut at the Sandown round of the Shannons Nationals on September 20-22.
A second race meeting will follow at the Shannons Nationals’ second visit to The Bend for 2019 in November, ahead of a planned full season in 2020.
GRM has confirmed that it is now in a position to speak interested teams and drivers about all options – from buying the cars, complete with spares packages, to arranging lease or ‘arrive and drive’ packages.
Interested parties can register their interest by contacting GRM directly, either by phone (+61 3 9793 6933) or email.
Watch the video below for an on-board lap of Phillip Island, which the S5000 prototype completes in 1m24s.
ROGERS: S5000 CHASSIS NOW ‘AS AUSTRALIAN AS POSSIBLE’
The Supercars and TCR squad was put in charge of the engineering, design, fabrication and construction of the cars last December.
While the original prototype contained many overseas-sourced components, team owner Garry Rogers proudly revealed that only the chassis tub – sourced from Onroak-Ligier in the United States – and the InnoV8-modified Ford Coyote V8 crate engine are the only non-Australian major components that will feature in the final S5000 cars.
“Once we took over this project, our goal was to see a pure race car represent the best of what Australian racing engineers and manufacturers could muster,” Rogers said.
“Our mantra was ‘Whatever could be made in Australia, it had to be.’
“The wheels that were part of the original car were being sourced from overseas. But when we spoke to Max Dumesny, he was keen to be involved, and knowing he could make them locally and had the necessary expertise to do this, we went with it.
“For the engine, there were off the shelf parts that we could have bought from the States, but we decided to get them manufactured locally with the assistance of InnoV8.
“Through my 55 years in business, I’ve always tried to improve young people, and the best way to do this is to make them think and give them responsibility. The mere requirement to bolt on parts that arrive in a box teaches people very little, whereas if they have to come up with a solution and design, manufacture and fit what is required, it teaches them life-long skills.
“At GRM, we have a significant composite department and alongside LC Composites in Braeside, Vic, we have designed and manufactured many of the composite components that have made up the S5000.
“Australian manufacturing has been left in the dark in recent times, and this is our way to ensure that Aussies continue to be employed and their business continue to have their doors stay open.
“This is a great car, and it’s going to be a category that we can all be proud of. Formula Ford has been the category that has waved the open-wheel flag in Australia for many years, and now we’ll have a high speed open-wheel option which will not only be a crowd favourite, but it will be safe and cost-effective.”