The impressive sounds of the S5000 will be heard around Queensland Raceway this weekend, with Todd Kelly and John Martin to drive the open-wheeler at the Shannons Nationals.
With the impending debut of the CAMS Australian S5000 Championship not far away, the car is being put on show at Shannons Nationals around the country to give fans a taste of what is to come, as well as logging vital laps in its development.
The S5000’s regular test driver Tim Macrow is currently overseas on other business duties meaning Kelly and Martin were given the opportunity.
Kelly will add the S5000 to a growing list of vehicles he has driven over his distinguished career, which includes a 2005 Bathurst 1000 win.
Kelly said he was looking forward to suiting up and getting seat time in the Garry Rogers Motorsport prepared vehicles.
“Every time the car has been out on the track, I've watched it and it really gets the hairs to stand up on the back of your neck," Kelly said.
"It's great that Garry and Barry are giving me the opportunity to get a first hand taste of the car. I haven't driven an open wheel for a while, and I'm not out to set a new lap record, but I'm certainly going to enjoy the experience.
"Australia has been starved of a decent, high performance open wheel category for a long time, and I can't wait to see what it's all about."
Meanwhile, it will be double duties for Martin in Queensland, who will add the S5000 laps to his TCR commitments with Wall Racing in the Honda.
“I was involved in the start of the S5000 program, so I’ve been across the details and I’ve kept a watchful eye on the category’s progress,” Martin added.
“I love the style of S5000s. They are a proper race car and every time the car goes out on track, it makes you sit up and take notice.
“I’ve been in conversation with Tim (Macrow) and he has given me some insight into the car’s performance and what I should look out for.
“If something came up to race in it, I would definitely look at it. They are pretty quick. It has plenty of power, and if you make a mistake, it will bite you, and that is the thing that will draw young guys to this class.”
Barry Rogers said the Queensland demonstration laps were another milestone in the category’s development – with the two fresh faces behind the wheel to provide
“As we all know, the (Queensland) circuit wraps inside itself, so no matter where you stand, you’ll be able to hear the roar of the car from any vantage point,” Rogers said.
“John Martin is a very accomplished driver – both in tin tops and open wheelers. So he was the most sensible choice for us while Tim Macrow is away on other business.
“And to have Todd Kelly drive the car is going to be really exciting. Todd hasn’t driven an open wheel race car for a long time, but I have a feeling that he will adapt to it very quickly.”