Slade enjoys first S5000 laps at Symmons Plains
TIM SLADE has professed himself pleased with his first on-track experience behind the wheel of the Form 700 / ALABAR entry he will race in this weekend’s opening round of the 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.
The Cooldrive Racing Supercars ace got his first laps behind the wheel of a ‘wings and slicks’ open wheeler in more than 15 years at Symmons Plains today, taking part in a pre-event testing session prior to this weekend’s AWC Race Tasmania event at the famous circuit near Launceston.
In warm and sunny conditions, Slade completed more than 40 laps behind the wheel of the Team BRM-run entry – after earlier coming to grips with the physical nature of the big open wheelers.
“The first thing I thought was how heavy the steering was, and I thought ‘shit! – how am I going to get through a 25-minute race!'” Slade exclaimed.
“At the time it was all pretty foreign and new. We’ve since improved the ergonomics with the steering wheel a little bit, so I don’t have forearm pump now, which is a plus!”
After tuning the car to his liking, Slade said the 560hp S5000 car delivered on his expectations.
“It’s a really fun car to drive. You know, you got decent amount of power and I guess it probably is what I was expecting just from watching the cars previously and a bit of onboard,” he said.
“That actually isn’t that dissimilar to the supercar, I guess, with a decent amount of power and, you know, not a heap of grip and it moves around – It’s not just glued to the road. I enjoy the challenge of jumping in something different and trying to work it out.
“I’m happy with where we are at so far. I kind of worked out pretty quickly in the first session how to, and how not to drive it. So, it’s good to find that kind of stuff early on.”
Slade will face strong competition in his S5000 debut this weekend at Symmons Plains.
In-house he will be competing with current Gold Star champion Joey Mawson and impressive New Zealand star, Kaleb Ngatoa.
Valvoline Garry Rogers Motorsport will field James Golding in an impressive new livery, while Tasmanian Adam Garwood makes his debut in a sister car from the Melbourne-based squad.
88 Racing will field entries for South Australian Blake Purdie (Nippy’s) and Josh Fife (ACMFinance.com) while brand-new squad Versa Motorsport make their championship debut with race winner Cooper Webster.
Meanwhile, double Gold Star champion Tim Macrow will attempt to add a third crown to his lengthy CV aboard his UCS Group / Hollinger Tim Macrow Racing entry.
The field is likely to grow in subsequent rounds with an additional car from GRM for Nathan Herne, the debut of Volante Rosso Racing and more to come from Round 2 of the championship at Phillip Island in March.
The S5000 field will complete a pair of 30-minute practice sessions tomorrow prior to qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday.
Two further races on Sunday will complete the opening round, with all of the weekend action to be broadcast live, ad break free and on-demand on Stan Sport.
Races can also be seen live on 9Gem on Saturday and Sunday afternoons – check out the TV page for more information.