Barrichello signs on for opening S5000 round
The all-new S5000 series has signed up Rubens Barrichello for its opening round at Sandown next month.
The ex-Ferrari Formula 1 star is the first driver to be confirmed for the first ever round of the new V8-powered open-wheeler series.
The trek down under will mark the Brazilian's first outing at the Sandown circuit, however he has tasted plenty of success down under in the past, finishing on the Australian Grand Prix podium five times (2000, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2009).
It will also mark Barrichello's first competitive outing in a single-seater since his IndyCar season in 2012, the 47-year-old currently racing in the Brazilian Stock Cars series.
“Having been to Australia many times during my F1 career, I’m excited to be coming back for the first ever race for S5000,” said Barrichello.
“The concept of the S5000 formula is a very interesting one. The car looks to be a real challenge, and I look forward to playing my part in its launch.
“It’s great to see what will be a resurgence in serious open-wheeler racing in Australia. I hear the sight and sound of a five-litre V8 in the back of the S5000 is pretty awesome.
“I’ve never been to the Sandown circuit before, so there will be much to absorb, but it looks like a great venue for the S5000s to make their debut. It’s going to be a great experience.”
Category manager Chris Lambden added that he's looking forward to seeing "racer's racer" Barrichello in one of the 560-horsepower cars.
"We’re thrilled that a driver of Rubens’ pedigree is coming to Melbourne to compete in the first ever S5000 race,” said Lambden.
“When we set out to create a top-level single-seater race category for Australia, tailored to the Australian V8 psyche, we hoped that it would provide an incentive to re-focus a spotlight on a form of racing that has slipped out of the limelight over recent years.
"Rubens has stayed very much on his game since he last raced in F1 and Indycar – the Brazilian ‘Stock Car’ Championship is in fact a touring car category not unlike Australia’s Supercars series, but using identical V8-powered Chevrolet Cruze cars, with a 32-car grid and an array of famous Brazilians at the wheel.
"Rubens, in fact, won the very latest race, last weekend, at Campo Grande. He’s a real racer’s racer.
“So he’ll be right at home in an S5000, and a top-quality target for Australia’s young hopefuls and more experienced racers to measure themselves against.”
The opening S5000 race will take place between September 20-22.
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