13 October 2021 | General

S5000 International interest high despite border challenges

INTERNATIONAL interest in the S5000 Tasman Series and 2022 Australian Drivers’ Championship remains high despite border challenges preventing some drivers from travelling Down Under for this Summer’s two-event series.

Team 88 Racing has confirmed that plans to field an as yet unnamed Italian driver in the seven-race Tasman Series have been placed on hold, after travel logistics became too challenging to overcome.

However, team owner Albert Callegher has confirmed that plans are well advanced to field an international driver for the 2022 Gold Star Championship and that interest remains high from abroad in Australia’s premier open-wheel category.

The team has also appointed an Italian-based representative to work with potential S5000 drivers emerging from Formula 4, 3 and 2 in Europe.

“Unfortunately our European based driver will not be able to race due to the COVID-19 travel issues,” Callegher said.

“We are, however, reviewing the situation with possibility of entering the 2022 Australian Drivers’ Championship, which is currently being considered once there is the ability to fly in and out of Australia without quarantine.

“Ideally, a sample drive in late December is the aim at the moment.”

88 Racing will expand to a two-car squad for the upcoming S5000 Tasman Series with a pair of local drivers, to be announced soon.

However, the team is convinced that the category is heading in the right direction towards becoming a high-profile destination class for overseas drivers, all the while being cost effective at the same time.

“S5000 is becoming the ‘IndyCar of Australia’ and is a place where overseas drivers can come and race at a fraction of the price of, say, Formula 2,” Callegher explained.

“There are a lot of things in the pipeline that will mean it will make enormous sense for internationals to come and race in S5000 and I am sure you’ll see significant numbers coming in the future, as the class grows.

“We have appointed a representative, based in Northern Italy, to be a point of contact for our team in Europe to help facilitate that process moving forward.

“What seemed like a pipe dream two years ago is quickly becoming a reality.”