20 January 2021 | General

Tommy Smith reveals livery ahead of S5000 debut

Tommy Smith has unveiled the S5000 car he will race in the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers Championship, starting this Sunday at Symmons Plains Raceway.

The 18 year-old Melbournian will drive the familiar red Team BRM car previously piloted by Rubens Barrichello at the aborted Australian F1 Grand Prix event back in March, backed by SCT Logistics, and a range of supporting sponsors including recruitment agency randstad, Liberty Oil, Wash K and EmcoRail.

With his 2020 plans to contest Formula Renault Eurocup scuttled by COVID-19, the opportunity to race in a championship open wheeler category as preparation for a potential attack on the same European championship category in 2021 fits in almost perfectly for Tommy.

Having tested at The Bend and the recent Phillip Island S5000 test day, Smith is becoming comfortable with the S5000 – certainly the fastest and most powerful car he will have raced to date:

“I’m really excited to be able to race a car as potent as the S5000,” says Smith.

“It all came together quite quickly, but we have been able to do some laps in the car, and it will be a great warm-up for the Formula Renault Eurocup.”

The entry of the aspiring international racer into the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers Championship is “a glimpse into the future of S5000” according to S5000 category development manager Chris Lambden.

“Tommy is typical of the young racers with international ambitions, for whom racing in Australia over Summer is a terrific means of preparing for the balance of their year with actual top-level competition.

“In his case, the target is the Formula Renault Eurocup and, depending upon whether COVID has an effect on the kick-off time over in Europe, it’s likely that he may well miss the last round of this series, but it will have got him ‘race-fit’ for Europe.

“However, it is a pointer to potential plans at the end of this year for S5000 to have two or three races grouped at a time when young racers from Europe or the US could come here and compete – assuming it’s easier to get into the country by then!”

And any pressure, given that the car is something of a hand-me-down from one of the most famous F1 drivers of all time?

“Ha, not really. It’s kind of nice that it is the car that Rubens Barrichello raced – and I guess the upside is that it has been well-sorted!” said Smith.

Practice for Symmons Plains is on Sunday, with qualifying and three races scheduled for Monday and Tuesday (Australia Day). All three races will be broadcast live and free on 7mate, with Monday’s qualifying session available on the 7plus streaming app.

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CLICK HERE for the racing schedule.