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S5000 seeking big names for Australian GP

Daniel Herrero

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Thursday 26th September, 2019 - 3:30pm

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Rubens Barrichello

S5000 is aiming to attract more big names when its 2020 season begins at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, having secured Rubens Barrichello for its inaugural event.

While the 13-car grid at Sandown featured a multitude of talented open-wheeler drivers, it was Barrichello who added the star power and mainstream appeal.

The former Scuderia Ferrari driver, winner of 11 F1 grands prix and a five-time podium finisher at Albert Park, appeared on one of Seven’s AFL Finals Series telecasts that weekend and drew a not insignificant streaming audience from his home country of Brazil.

His return to Australia to race one of the V8-powered single-seaters was also noticed by his former F1 contemporaries Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

When asked if he wanted to secure more big names for next year’s high-profile AGP support outing, Matt Braid, director of S5000 promoter, Australian Racing Group, said, “Ideally, yeah, absolutely.

“Word travels fast, so with any luck there will be a few of his (Barrichello’s) mates coming down.

“By nature. the category is different to any other open-wheel class out there, really, so it’s going to attract talent from all around the world, not just Australia.”

There are presently 14 S5000 cars in existence, of which 13 were raced last weekend at Sandown.

While Braid does not have a specific target “at this stage”, he is hopeful of having as many of 20 cars on the grid when the 2020 season gets underway and confirmed that the extra cars could be built if need be.

“Look, I think we’ve got 14 cars already committed at this stage. Ideally we’d like to have more than that, so it could be 18 or 20, ideally, but we’ll wait and see what interest is and how it develops this year,” he said.

The second S5000 round will be held at The Bend Motorsport Park on November 15-17.

CLICK HERE for more from Rubens Barrichello on his S5000 experience.

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