McLean joins S5000 field

Matt McLean

Matt McLean

Matt McLean will race in the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship with Versa Motorsport.

The campaign will be his competitive debut in the category, after parting in the Open Test at The Bend last year with Versa.

Indications are that McLean has a busy year of racing ahead, given he was also spotted testing a Dunlop Super2 Series-spec Ford Mustang with MW Motorsport at Winton yesterday.

Versa owner Toby Pope said of the national karting champion, “Matt has shown his talent throughout his strong karting career, two years in Super2 and claiming both the Mike Kable award and Rookie of the Year shows how good he is.

“We’re thrilled to have him join our team for the season ahead and fight for wins. He comes to S5000 battle hardened like all our drivers and team members that join the team we look forward to all learning from each other.

“It’s clear that when guys are getting to the Supercar level or wanting to go overseas to race, S5000 is the best place for them to really develop their skills.

“[Thomas] Randle, [James] Golding in the last two years honed their skills there while waiting for the right opportunity, [Nathan] Herne now is in the USA on the path to NASCAR and Cooper [Webster] got offered an open wheel seat in the UK on the path to F1.

“The Race Tasmania field will have four Supercars drivers and some of the best young talents in the country – it’s going to be great.”

McLean himself said, “I’m seriously excited to run the year with Versa Motorsport in S5000.

“I’ve known Toby for 10 years from back in the karting days and have been friends ever since, and to receive this opportunity from him has been a very special moment for me.

“Cooper and I both won Junior and Senior National Championships simultaneously whilst racing for the same brand back in 2016, so it’s cool to be back in the same camp with him just like old days.

“I sampled the S5000 with the team back at an evaluation at The Bend and was keen on putting a deal together straight away.

“Our pace seems strong, and in combination with the team’s professionalism I think we’ll have a very solid year.”

Round 1 of S5000 takes place at AWC Race Tasmania, which will be held at Symmons Plains on February 24-26.

That event, and all others in the SpeedSeries, can be seen live and ad-free on Stan Sport.

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