Supercars team owner buys first Super5000 car

Prodrive Racing Australia part-owner Rusty French has handed over $100,000 for the prototype Super5000 car, with plans to run young driver Thomas Randle in the series.

Supercars team owner buys first Super5000 car
Super5000
Super5000 steering wheel
Super5000 rear detail
Thomas Randle
Thomas Randle, Comtec Racing
Race winner Jehan Daruvala, second place Marcus Armstrong, third place Thomas Randle

French will take delivery of the first ever Oscar Fiorinotto-built cars, which is currently being used as a prototype during the testing and development stage of the project.

When the series kicks off French plans to run the car for reigning Toyota Racing Series champion and current Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 driver Randle, who he’s financially supported for the last few seasons.

“I have always been interested in the 5000s, from back in the old days when they were running the Tasman Series and I think it is a fantastic series to be involved in,” said French.

“I have been assisting Thomas Randle in the Toyota series in New Zealand last year, and I am now sponsoring him in Europe in the Renault Series where he is doing well and running at Spa next weekend, so I have agreed to put Thomas in one of these cars in the new category.

“I believe that if we could end up with a grid of 16 or 18 of these cars it would be fantastic racing.”

With the Super5000 programme now merged with Chris Lambden’s Formula Thunder 5000 project, the technical make-up of what the race series will become is yet to be officially confirmed.

However, French says he’s expecting it be a mix of the chassis built by Fiorinotto for Super5000, but paired with the crate V8 engine used in the FT5000 car rather than the Supercars-spec engine currently powering the Super5000 prototype.

“The car that I have purchased is this [Super5000] car, but there will be some variation to the mechanical side of it,” said French.

“I believe the chassis aero will stay the same, but it could very well be that Chris Lambden’s engine could be the choice of the engine package to run, which would keep the cost of these cars down.

“But for the price of these cars they are similar money to a Carrera Cup car. For anybody that wants to go racing in open-wheelers and have a big banger V8 I think they are fantastic.”

French also highlighted the 2019 season-opening Supercars event in Adelaide as the ideal launch pad for the Super5000/Formula Thunder 5000 series, although Supercars is planning on having the category up and running next year.

“I believe that probably seven rounds out of the annual calendar for the Virgin Australia Supercars would be fantastic, so if we launch this in, let’s say Adelaide in 2019, with 20 of these cars in the grid it would be taking people back to their Formula 1 days in Adelaide.”

French is planning to get Randle in the car as soon as he returns from Europe after the Spa Formula Renault round, and wants to have his young driver involved in the development.

“Thomas is going to have a drive in it when he comes back to Australia after his running at Spa next weekend,” said French.

“I would like to have Thomas involved and happy to contribute in that way.

“Let’s get the thing right, let’s do it once, do it properly and then we won’t be…we don’t want it to be like another Supercar that could cost 250 grand and they cost 500…”

shares
comments
Sandown 500: Fiore tops first co-driver session

Previous article

Sandown 500: Fiore tops first co-driver session

Next article

Sandown 500: Rick Kelly keeps Nissan on top

Sandown 500: Rick Kelly keeps Nissan on top
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020