6 September 2021 | General

S5000 grabs second in The Bend Classic

TEENAGER Sebastien Amadio has grabbed the runner-up spot in The Bend Classic event at the weekend, in the first appearance of an S5000 team at the event.

Driving the ex-Thomas Randle Team BRM entry, Amadio set the third fastest time of the weekend overall – behind only a high downforce Formula Renault 3.5 V8 and a Benneton Formula One car – before finishing second in the headline Top-10 Shootout.

Though the track was dry, 10-degree ambient conditions and a freezing cold track surface made getting tyre temperature a challenge for the one-lap dash.

Running second to last, Amadio slithered his way around The Bend’s 3.4km West Circuit to bank a 1m16.220s best – only 0.7s slower than his fastest lap of the weekend – to comfortably top the leaderboard.

He was then only beaten by Yasser Shahin’s Renault 3.5, a car that was as quick, if not quicker than, GP2 machinery when it raced in 2012.

Amadio’s hitout was the first in a potential move to S5000 for the 2022 Australian Drivers’ Championship, as the Walkinshaw Andretti United-supported junior considers his next career step.

“Sebastien did a really good job all weekend,” said Team BRM’s Mark Rundle.

“He didn’t put a foot wrong in cold and often very changeable conditions where generating tyre temperature was a real challenge, there was traffic with vastly differing levels of performance and everything else going on. His approach was spot-on and grabbing second in the Shootout was a great outcome.”

Rundle, who’s team also prepared three classic Formula One cars for the annual event, said the S5000 platform proved its strengths throughout the weekend.

Aside from using tyre blankets prior to the Top-10 shootout in a bid to generate some temperature, Team BRM ran the car in exactly the same specification as it would at a regular S5000 round.

“Compared to running the F1 cars, the S5000 is the easiest car in the world for the team to run! They’re a great platform and the car ran faultlessly all weekend – we had zero trouble,” he said.

“The only issues were making sure the car was warm enough before getting on track, because it was so cold on the weekend.. it was certainly never going to overheat.

“For a big open wheeler they are so durable and user-friendly, especially compared to the other cars we had in the garage.

“For a car from a category where they are not chasing ultimate lap times, but good, close racing and a great driving experience, the performance of the car was really impressive against some serious machinery and that was reflected in the results.

“It was a good exercise to have the car out there and showcase what they are capable of.. which is a lot.”