S5000 confirms Sandown start date

The all-new CAMS Australian S5000 Championship will officially begin in September during the Shannons Nationals’ visit to Sandown Raceway.

Australian Racing Group and Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) made the difficult call after a slight delay in supply of critical materials to the chassis providers in the United States caused a time hindrance to GRM’s production.

While there will be a delay to the season opener, fans can still see the S5000 in action at Sydney Motorsport Park in May, as well as other selected rounds of the Shannons Nationals where it will complete demonstration laps.

GRM owner Barry Rogers believed the decision was the right call to make and remained optimistic about the future of the category.

“While it is disappointing that we won’t make the intended first event, we want to ensure that this class is rolled out in the most professional, most competitive manner,” Rogers said.

“Having picked up this project in December, we always knew it would be tight to get 14 cars race ready for May, however, we stuck to that plan and pushed towards that as long as we could.

“Even when Onroak were handed the delay of materials, we were still optimistic, however, we decided that the best way forward was to hold back the first event so we can thoroughly ensure that the cars are properly tested and parts are lifed appropriately.

“We are all very excited to see these cars hit the track, so we’ll all just have to wait a couple more months before we see the start of the new era of high-powered open-wheel racing in Australia.

“It will actually be quite fitting to see the first event at Sandown too. That circuit has an unbelievable history with the old Formula 5000 cars, so to see the first competitive event held there is going to be something really special.”

With a new revised full season schedule for 2020 to be released soon, the decision to delay the start date was supported by all involved, including category manager Chris Lambden.

“Launching S5000 is just that more complex than most other categories because you can’t just go out and buy the cars,” Lambden said

“In our case, they’re being manufactured here, which comes with its own unique set of additional challenges.

“I agree entirely with our decision to hold back until we’re 100 per cent sure we will deliver. There’s no point in going off half-cocked. With the first mini-batch of four cars undergoing assembly at GRM, there’s absolutely no doubt S5000 is under way and, having been in at GRM this week, it’s exciting to see the ‘production line’ in place and happening – they’re doing a great job.”

The CAMS Australian S5000 Championship will now take place as part of the Shannons Nationals at Sandown Raceway on 20-22 September.