29 August 2022 | General

Versa names six drivers for inaugural ‘S5000 Open’ test

VERSA Motorsport has announced the six drivers that will sample their S5000 machinery at the category ‘S5000 open’ event at The Bend next month. 

The impressive roster of S5000 first-timers include graduates direct from Karting, junior open wheel categories, Sports Car racing and even Supercars competition.

To be held at The Bend Motorsport Park on Tuesday, 20 September, the ‘S5000 Open’ will see a fleet of S5000 racers on hand at the South Australian circuit in an opportunity to give interested drivers a chance to sample the cars at speed.

The event will also double as the season launch for the 2023 S5000 season, with key sporting, costing and technical evolutions planned for the 2023 season to be unveiled on the day.

Versa will field six drivers who will each sample the 560-horsepower Rogers AF01/V8 machinery for the first time, with the group representing a wide array of racing talent.

15-year-old Sydney Karter Alex Ninovic will get his first taste of serious racing machinery, having recently claimed the KA3 National Karting Championship at the final round in Newcastle.

Fellow teenager and Formula Ford racer Xavier Kokai will continue his open-wheel progression via his first S5000 laps and will be joined by fellow racer Jake Santalucia – who stepped up to from Karting to drive for Sonic Motor Racing this year in the Victorian Formula Ford championship.

Dunlop Super2 series racer Matt McLean will be more accustomed to high-horsepower machinery, however will trade tin-top for halo for the first time since graduating from Karts when he tests an S5000 for the first time.

A pair of West Aussies round out Versa’s S5000 Open squad: WA F1000 open-wheel champion Gianni Lutzu and Radical Cup Australia racer Sebastien Fiorenza to make the trek from Perth.

Versa will be joined at the S5000 open by key teams including Team BRM, Garry Rogers Motorsport and Tim Macrow Racing – with drivers for those teams to be announced soon.

More than 30 nominations were received for the first S5000 Open evaluation day with a host of drivers to get their first taste of the cars at the South Australian venue.

TOBY POPE – Versa Motorsport

“We’re really excited to give the six drivers selected a chance to experience the S5000 performance for the first time.

“It’s a really diverse group of talent and it’s going to be fantastic to see the different approaches from drivers coming straight out of karting, compared to someone with Supercars experience.

“The whole idea of the S5000 open is to give new people an opportunity to sample these cars, and there’s no doubting that this group of drivers qualifies as talent!”