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Kelly impressed by S5000 ‘monster’ despite curtailed run

Tom Howard

Thursday 1st August, 2019 - 5:11pm

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Todd Kelly behind the wheel of the S5000 at Queensland Raceway

Todd Kelly is keen to be involved in S5000 in the future having been impressed by the single seater despite his test at Queensland Raceway ending in the gravel trap.

The former Supercars full-time climbed aboard the Onroak-Ligier V8 powered S5000 for laps at the Ipswich circuit as Garry Rogers Motorsport continues to refine the car that is set to debut later this year.

Kelly jumped in the car for a handful of laps after John Martin had completed the bulk of the test running this afternoon. 

The 39-year-old ran untroubled until the car suffered a fractured oil cooler which sent him into the gravel trap at Turn 6.

The car escaped without damage and will return to conduct demonstration runs at the circuit this weekend. 

Kelly’s last single seater outing was back in 1998 when he raced a Formula Holden Australian Drivers’ Championship and was hugely impressed by the S5000 machine.

“I’d love to be involved in S5000 some way. I’m a bit long in the tooth to race one,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.

“Ever since they have come out onto the track I have been leaning over the pit wall drooling. It is a proper race car and I think we are lucky to have it in Australia motorsport. We will see what comes together. 

“Today was about doing our due diligence before you blaze into something it. It is a good category to be in. 

“I was a little bit nervous as it had been 20 years since I had driven one of these (single-seaters). 

“For some reason the car gives you a bit of confidence even though it is an absolute monster.

“I was expecting not to get out of third gear and trundle around but it gives you the confidence to have a bit of a go.

“I was expecting to get to that point after two or three runs, but on the second lap it was so easy and comforting to drive. It was an absolute blast.

John Martin did the majority of the running

“I think. A 50-year-old or a 17-year-old could jump in and have a blast. I was prepared for the worst having looked at it previously and thought this is a serious piece of kit.

“It is a shame we couldn’t get more laps but I would love to get back in it one day.”

Meanwhile, experienced former single-seater racer Martin was equally as impressed with the S5000 car, but the former A1GP driver admits there are some areas where more refinement is required.

“It is really cool to drive and it still needs a few things sorted out here and there, but it is not that far out of the window,” Martin, who logged an unofficial 1:05.5s, told Speedcafe.com.

“A couple more test days and they will get on top of it. 

“It lacks quite a lot of downforce compared to those A1GP cars, but that is what they are going for.

“With this S5000 you will be able to race.” 

Martin is set to jump back behind the wheel of the car for demo runs as part of the Shannons Nationals round at Queensland Raceway.  

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