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Late 2018 debut hoped as Super5000 plans continue

Tom Howard

Friday 22nd December, 2017 - 6:00am

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The Formula Thunder 5000 and Super5000 car during demos at the Vodafone Gold Coast 600

Evaluations of the two prospective Super5000 cars continue as organisers admit that a late 2018 date is the earliest conceivable debut for the category.

Plans for a new Formula 5000 single-seater series to support Supercars are still a way off coming to fruition with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) yet to issue a green light for the category.

Earlier this year Supercars unveiled its Super5000 series initiative with the launch of a retro F5000 car built by Oscar Fiorinotto’s South Australian operation.

The project has since been boosted by the unification of the similar Formula Thunder 5000 series, although a technical package is yet to be agreed following an assessment of the bespoke chassis initially created by the two series.

Both series’ cars have completed demonstrations at Supercars events with the championship’s management keen to see if a market for the category exists.

Super5000 backer John McMellan, who also heads up the Wilson Group, says meeting the demands of CAMS is the next hurdle for the concept, which may feature at a Supercars event late next year.

“We have provided some demonstrations of the possible directions and we are now conducting a technical evaluation as to what requirements need to be met for a future category to be created,” McMellan told Speedcafe.com.

“Until those technical assessments have been completed there is not much else we can do.

“I think again the most optimistic case would be the back end of next year.”

Meanwhile, changes to the Fiorinotto designed Super5000 are being contemplated in a bid to improve the look of the nose section of the race car.

A proposal for an IndyCar style nose on the Oscar Fiorinotto designed Super5000

The car, designed by Fiorionotto, Erebus Motorsport engineer Alistair McVean and John Packer, can be easily adapted to support a new nose structure.

Several proposals are currently being considered for the car. Speedcafe.com understands four chassis have already been earmarked for buyers, including one destined for America.

“(There are) Several proposals from a Formula 1 look to an IndyCar look,” Fiorinotto told Speedcafe.com.

“We have discussed it internally with John but we are listening to what the pubic are saying.

“What we are hearing is that people like the look of the car except for the nose.

“The cockpit is much larger than the other car and and the other thing is that the tub has been designed to be able to use any bits of modular design without having to change the tub.”

Meanwhile, the Formula Thunder 5000 has already undergone a cosmetic change earlier this year with the addition of a new airbox designed to give the chassis a more IndyCar style look, which was well received following its unveil at October’s Gold Coast 600.

Former racer Chris Lambden, who was behind the conception of the Formula Thunder 5000 car, believes there will be no further changes required for his Coyote V8 powered chassis, and remains confident the series will eventuate.

“There is a still a little way to go with all the evaluation stuff,” Lambden told Speedcafe.com.

“I think it is heading in the right direction and there is absolute determination to make it happen and I would agree that probably later on next year is where it is going to end up.

“Everything does take a little bit longer than you would hope.

“The response to our car has been great and we will continue on.”

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