Super2 stars sample S5000 at Winton
A PAIR of stars from the Super2 Series have enjoyed their first taste of S5000 horsepower at Winton Motor Raceway today.
Josh Fife and Matt Chahda joined Garry Rogers Motorsport for their shakedown day at the Victorian circuit, each logging plenty of laps aboard a pair of the team’s Rogers AFO1/V8 chassis’.
Multiple S5000 race winner James Golding was on hand to offer tips and advice as the pair got up to speed.
For both Fife and Chahda, today represented their first ever experience behind the wheel of a ‘wings and slicks’ racer like the S5000.
The team confirmed both adapted quickly to the 560-horsepower car, each driver logging competitive lap times during what was essentially an evaluation session rather than a full-on test.
“Today was a very cool day driving the S5000. I’d never driven an open wheeler before so that was very cool. I couldn’t believe the power that it had, it was amazing,” Fife, who races for MW Motorsport in Super 2, said.
“I’m very lucky that the team gave me the opportunity, everyone from Garry Rogers Motorsport are a great bunch of guys, James was helping me, he has a lot of knowledge from the car and that made today a lot easier.”
Both drivers admitted they had to learn, or re-learn, driving techniques to get the most out of the car.
“In the Supercar I usually right foot brake, so today I had to learn to left foot brake again and it took me a while to get used to it, but it felt comfortable at the end of the day,” Fife said.
“It’s a bit weird, you have to go a bit quicker to get the aero, but that was hard to get my mind around and to build your confidence up. The faster you go the more downforce you get which was cool. The power of these things is amazing, it’s probably one of the fastest things I’ve been in.”
While Matt Chahda’s career started in Formula Ford, all of his racing since then has been in V8-powered tin-tops, 2021 marking his seventh year in the Super2 championship.
It ensured today was a massive change of scenery for the 28-year-old Albury-based driver.
“They’re just wicked, wicked cars; exciting to drive, that’s for sure,” Chahda said.
“There’s more grip to what we’re used to. I was just trying to get myself comfortable in the care and warm up to it. It’s faster than anything else I’ve driven too, so you have to give yourself a bit to get comfortable with that.
“I think the aero is something that will take some time to get used to, and being around other cars too might give you a bit of an appreciation of how much aero you’ve actually got, when someone gives you a bit of wash and you lose some aero.
“it’s all just a learning curve and very, very different to what I’ve driven.”
Both drivers had praise for multiple S5000 race winner James Golding, who helped ease their transition to open wheel racing throughout the test.
“From the start of the day he told me to slowly ease into it. Don’t go too hard straight out the gate. I progressed throughout the day and the times were coming down,” Fife said.
Added Chahda: “(Jimmy) has been really good. He’s been keeping it simple which is what you want, you don’t want a tonne of information thrown at you.
“One of the beauty of the car design is that they’re not much you can change, it’s up to the driver. The cars are very evenly matched.”
Both drivers confirmed their desire to jump behind the wheel, this time in a competitive situation in 2022.
“Hopefully next year I get to do a few rounds,” Fife confirmed. “I’d love to do plenty of laps in these things they’re awesome things to drive,”
“I’m definitely keen to race one,” added Chahda.
“Ever since the cars were conceptualized I’ve been saying I want to have a drive of one, for sure. Stoked when I got the call to have a steer of one. They’re just a proper race car.”