The Shannons Nationals will welcome one of the world’s best-known Formula 1 competitors, with Rubens Barrichello to be part of the historic first round of S5000.
The Brazilian star also makes history as the first confirmed driver for the new CAMS Australian S5000 Championship, with the first race to take place at Melbourne’s own Sandown Raceway.
No stranger to open-wheel racing, Barrichello notched up an impressive 19 straight years in the world’s top racing category, and battled some of the world’s best drivers during his time in Formula 1.
Barrichello said the opportunity to drive the five litre, V8 open-wheeler in Australia was too good to pass up.
“Having been to Australia many times during my F1 career, I’m excited to be coming back for the first ever race for S5000, in Melbourne,” Barrichello said.
“The concept of the S5000 formula is a very interesting one, the car looks to be a real challenge, and I look forward to playing my part in its launch.
“It’s great to see what will be a resurgence in serious open-wheeler racing in Australia. I hear the sight and sound of a 5-litre V8 in the back of the S5000 is pretty awesome.
“I’ve never been to the Sandown circuit before, so there will be much to absorb, but it looks like a great venue for the S5000s to make their debut. It’s going to be a great experience.”
S5000 Category Manager Chris Lambden was understandably excited about Barrichello playing a key role in the category’s debut.
“We’re thrilled that a driver of Rubens’ pedigree is coming to Melbourne to compete in the first ever S5000 race,” Lambden said.
“When we set out to create a top-level single-seater race category for Australia, tailored to the Australian V8 psyche, we hoped that it would provide an incentive to re-focus a spotlight on a form of racing that has slipped out of the limelight over recent years – the fact that Race 1 will see Rubens Barrichello on the grid is fabulous.
“Rubens has stayed very much on his game since he last raced in F1 and IndyCar – the Brazilian ‘Stock Car’ Championship is in fact a touring car category not unlike Australia’s Supercar series, but using identical V8-powered Chevrolet Cruze cars, with a 32-car grid and an array of famous Brazilians at the wheel. Rubens in fact won the very latest race, last weekend, at Campo Grande. He’s a real racer’s racer.”
Lambden said the category expected as many as 14 S5000s to be racing at Sandown in what will be an impressive sight – and sound – for motor sport fans.
The Shannons Nationals take place at Sandown International Raceway on 20-22 September, 2019.