S5000 cars officially hit the market
The 560-horsepower S5000 open-wheelers are officially on the market, with organisers now taking orders and lease inquiries ahead of this September's opening round.
With the final specification of the V8-powered Onroak-Ligier chassis now locked in, technical provider Garry Rogers Motorsport is in the process of building what will be a total of 14 cars.
Five of the chassis are already in the country and being prepared at GRM's Melbourne base, while the other nine are currently en route from the United States.
All 14 cars are now officially on the market, with GRM confirming that it is officially taking orders, along with enquiries for arrive-and-drive lease packages.
The series, run by TCR Australia promoters Australian Racing Group, will kick off at the Sandown round of the Shannons Nationals this November.
The exact make-up of the 2019 season is yet to be fully confirmed, earlier production delays meaning Sandown in September and The Bend in November are the only races locked in.
Focus on Australian-made parts
GRM boss Garry Rogers has also outlined a focus on Australian-made parts for the final spec of the car, with the US-made tub and V8 engine block the only key components made overseas.
That engine is then tuned by Queensland-based InnoV8 to give it an Aussie flavour, while the car now runs controls suspension, wheels and gearbox all built locally.
“Once we took over this project, our goal was to see a pure racecar represent the best of what Australian racing engineers and manufacturers could muster,” said Rogers.
“Our mantra was ‘whatever could be made in Australia, it had to be.’
“The wheels that were part of the original car were being sourced from overseas. But when we spoke to [wheel and tyre specialist] Max Dumesny, he was keen to be involved. And knowing he could make them locally and had the necessary expertise to do this, we went with it.
“For the engine, there were off the shelf parts that we could have bought from the States, but we decided to get them manufactured locally with the assistance of InnoV8.
"Through my 55 years in business, I’ve always tried to improve young people, and the best way to do this is to make them think and give them responsibility. The mere requirement to bolt on parts that arrive in a box teaches people very little, whereas if they have to come up with a solution and design, manufacture and fit what is required, it teaches them life-long skills.
”At GRM, we have a significant composite department and alongside LC Composites in Braeside [in Melbourne] we have designed and manufactured many of the composite components that have made up the S5000.
“Australian manufacturing has been left in the dark in recent times, and this is our way to ensure that Aussies continue to be employed and their business continue to have their doors stay open.
“This is a great car, and it’s going to be a category that we can all be proud of. Formula Ford has been the category that has waved the open-wheel flag in Australia for many years, and now we’ll have a high speed open-wheel option which will not only be a crowd favourite, but it will be safe and cost-effective.”
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