FIA to rule on S5000 Bathurst appearance
The FIA, the world motorsport governing body, is set to decide whether S5000 will be allowed to run at Mount Panorama.
The series burst onto the scene at Sandown last month with organisers Australian Racing Group claiming it will run at Bathurst as part of the fifth event at Mount Panorama next year.
However, circuit safety requirements could scupper the plans as the lightweight but high powered open wheelers exceed the power to weight ratio permitted for the circuit.
All FIA licensed circuits are graded on a sliding scale, with six different licence levels.
These vary from Grade 1, which allows all forms of car racing from Formula 1 down, to Grade 4.
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Mount Panorama is rated at just Grade 3, meaning under its FIA license it can only host “Category II Automobiles with a weight/power ratio of between 2 and 3 kg/hp,” plus selected historic categories.
According to its technical regulations, the minimum weight for an S5000 in competition is 925kg.
The power output of the Ford Coyote ‘Alumina engine is listed as 560bhp on the series’ official website, making for a weight/power ratio of 1.65 kg/hp including driver. Without the driver that figure is 1.51 kg/hp.
“It’s in the hands of the FIA at the moment because it’s obviously got to be a circuit that is okay for those cars,” CAMS president Andrew Papadopoulos confirmed to Speedcafe.com.
“We’re making all endeavours to make sure the FIA have got all the information.
“The decision will be theirs, but S5000 is an exciting category and we saw at Sandown how good they are and how good they can be.
“Yes, but there are plenty of other places for S5000 to race at,” he added when asked if it would be a blow should the FIA block running at Mount Panorama.
“It’s all about the safety of, not only the drivers, but also the spectators and officials.
“But again, it’s not up to us, we’ve put the proposal to Bathurst City Council with ARG, and we’re endeavouring to see if the FIA gives the okay to run them here.”
Under the FIA circuit gradings, only Albert Park, Surfers Paradise, Sydney Motorsport Park, and The Bend (which is absent from the FIA listing but Speedcafe.com has confirmed with CAMS is licensed at Grade 2) are capable of hosting S5000.
However, it’s understood there is a national process which can take place to allow vehicles outside of the FIA circuit grading framework to run at a circuit.
Sandown played host to the opening event despite not holding an FIA circuit grading at all.
Cars have tested at Phillip Island and Winton, which are only rated at Grade 3.
Clarification on where S5000 is permitted to run, and how it would be licensed to do so, has been requested from CAMS but had not been received at the time of publishing.
With the proposed event not until April 2020 an imminent response is not expected from the FIA.