Amadio to make leap from School student to S5000 this weekend
17-year-old High School student Sebastien Amadio will get the fastest weekend of his life this weekend at The Bend Classic in South Australia.
Amadio will make his competitive debut in one of Australia’s fastest racing cars this weekend, when he tackles The Bend Motorsport Park’s Super Sprint event aboard a Team BRM prepared Rogers AF01/V8 S5000.
S5000, which concluded their debut season earlier this year, is Australia’s premier open-wheel category and competes for the prestigious Australian Drivers’ Championship, one of the sport’s most significant driving awards.
The title has been won in the past by Will Power, Scott Dixon, Mark Skaife and a host of other racing legends.
With much of the car designed and developed in Australia, S5000 is a home-grown category that features a grid of 560-horsepower ‘wings and slicks’ racers that match the latest open-wheel technology and safety with the old-school V8 grunt of the classic Formula 5000 era from the 1960s and 70s.
Though not racing wheel-to-wheel, Amadio will this weekend share the track and compete against the clock with a grid that includes Formula One machinery.
Competitors tackle a series of super sprint sessions across the two days before the fastest 10 cars of the weekend compete in the Classic Shootout to decide the overall winner – claimed last year by Sam Shahin, driving a Dallara Formula 1 car.
Set to drive the car that finished second in this year’s S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship with Thomas Randle behind the wheel, Amadio’s debut this weekend marks a continuing rise in the young Adelaidean’s racing career.
Starting as a junior in karting, Amadio progressed to Superkart competition with success in 2018.
He made his circuit racing debut last September at The Bend Motorsport Park, racing a Formula Toyota open-wheeler against a big Sports Car field at the Supercars round – winning two of the three races.
In an aid to his S5000 debut, that event was held on the same 3.41km ‘West’ circuit configuration to be used this weekend at The Bend Classic.
Amadio, a Walkinshaw Andretti United junior driver, has continued to race his Superkart this year while balancing year eleven studies at school, however his step into the S5000 this weekend could mark the start of the next potential phase of his driving career.
The Wingfield-based Team BRM claimed this year’s S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship thanks to a 1-2 finish for drivers Joey Mawson and Thomas Randle.
It was their Seventh Gold Star championship, equaling the record held by fellow SA team Birrana Racing set during the Formula Holden era in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The full entry list for The Bend Classic will be released tomorrow.
“I’m very excited to drive the S5000 at The Bend Classic this weekend. It’s about getting behind the wheel, learning as much as I can and having fun with it.
“Driving open wheelers is my thing, it’s something I’ve grown up with through my Superkarting background which helps a lot. Going to The Bend all the time is amazing, just to drive on the track.
“I’ve been watching some of the S5000 races, at Tassie and Phillip Island when it was raining. I was keeping up with the series and finding out what was going on.
“This could be something I’m looking at doing for next year full time.
“This weekend I’m just aiming at being on the pace, learning everything I can and getting comfortable with the car and hopefully that means I set a reasonable lap time.
“I’m balancing school work and racing at the same time – I won’t lie, it’s not a lot of fun! But you’ve got to do what you have to do!”
MARK RUNDLE – Team BRM
“We’re excited to have Sebastien in the car this weekend for his first taste of S5000,” Rundle said.
“The Bend Classic is a great opportunity to get some experience in a competitive environment but without the worry of banging wheels with other cars!
“It’s going to be a great learning opportunity for him – we’ve been watching his progress in the Superkart and in the Toyota last year so we’re looking forward to working with him this weekend to get up to speed in the S5000.
“From a team perspective, it’s great to represent S5000 at the event and have the car on track at the same time as some very cool machinery.”