Former Gold Star champ set for S5000 debut
British international James Winslow will make his return to Australian motorsport competition this weekend, competing in the new S5000 class at The Bend Motorsport Park.
The 36 year-old will drive for Team BRM, racing the car that Alex Davison used at the inaugural Sandown race in September.
He will drive alongside Supercars ace Anton de Pasquale in the South Australian team, with the third BRM driver to be confirmed shortly.
Winslow made his mark in Australia in 2008, winning the CAMS Australian Gold Star crown in the Formula 3 class.
He repeated that performance in 2012, and has since gone onto become one of the most reliable and versatile professional racing drivers around the world, winning nine championships, including 86 victories in Formula 3 around the world.
The Brit has been competing in prototypes since 2013, racing LMP2 closed cockpit race cars in the European and Asian Le Mans Series.
Amongst a range of other competition, Winslow has also competed at the 24 hours of Le Mans on four occasions, finishing the gruelling race three times.
He currently leads the China GT Championship in a Mercedes AMG GT3 car having won four rounds with one round to go. Adding to a solid 2019 is the Asian 2019 FRD LMP3 series win that he secured earlier this year.
Winslow’s S5000 race cars will carry the same livery that Davison used at Sandown, featuring support from Astrontech.
The car was damaged in a major incident at Sandown during the feature race, but it has been rebuilt and readied for Winslow – a testament to the strength of the Ligier/Onroak tub itself, which was undamaged in the crash.
Winslow will get his first taste of the S5000 racer at The Bend on Thursday in a special extra test day for a number of competitors. This will be followed by two practice sessions on Friday, Qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday and another short race on Sunday morning ahead of the all-important feature race on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday’s race and Sunday’s feature race will be broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS, as well as livestream around the world on the S5000 website.
Driver, Team BRM S5000
“I really can’t wait to get into the S5000 and see what everyone is talking about,” said James Winslow.
“I was racing ELMS at Spa on the weekend of Sandown, and people were coming up to me asking about it. I was surprised that word had spread over to Europe before a race had even been run!
“The cars look amazing. Everyone knows that I love single seater racing, and it’s great that there is a good, strong class back in Australia. And to have a big V8 engine in the back is a massive bonus.
“I did a lot of Formula 3 racing, A1GP and other single seaters so it really appeals to me.
“I’ve battled Tim Macrow in the Australian F3 Championship before, so it will be good to do battle with him again. I’m also looking forward to rejoining BRM. I won the 2008 F3 title with them, so it’s nice to get back to a team I know.
“I’d definitely like to do more of this. I’d like to do the full championship next season. This round is a one-off, but very keen to get back into a single seater, and if the Gold Star was included next year, it would be good to come back and try and get a third title.”
Category Manager, S5000
“James adds yet another quality, experienced single-seater driver to the line-up for The Bend this week, which is exactly what these first two ‘launch’ races have been all about – encouraging the right drivers to experience S5000 with a view to tackling the series in 2020,” said Chris Lambden.
“As a double Gold Star champion and with his current sports car programme in Europe and Asia, James is well-equipped to make an impact in S5000.
“The field for this week’s race is coming together well, so anyone in SA who wants to see big, powerful, V8 single-seater race cars driven by quality pilots knows where to be …”