Roberto Merhi to make Symmons Plains cameo in S5000 opener
FORMER Grand Prix racer Roberto Merhi will return for a second Aussie appearance in the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship at AWC Race Tasmania.
The Spaniard, 31, will drive a Garry Rogers Motorsport-prepared entry in the opening round of the 2023 championship on February 24-26.
Merhi contested the two-round 2021 S5000 Tasman Series, finishing second overall and claiming a race win at Sydney Motorsport Park in the process.
Merhi raced for the Manor Marussia Formula One team in the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship, contesting 14 Grands Prix with the team.
Prior to that he won the Formula 3 EuroSeries and FIA F3 International Trophy in 2011 and finished third in the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series, prior to his Formula One debut.
He finished third in the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Championship – where he raced at The Bend – and raced for G-Drive in the European Le Mans Series in 2021.
In 2022 he switched his attention to Japan, contesting the SuperGT Championship for Team LeMans in an Audi R8.
He also made several starts for Campos Racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, filling in for injured driver Ralph Boschung for three rounds at the Red Bull ring, Paul Ricard and Hungaroring.
His brief return to the category, the final step on the pathway to Formula 1, included scoring a stunning third-place finish in the feature race at the Red Bull Ring.
Merhi will line up against the most competitive S5000 grid yet when he contests the three races at AWC Race Tasmania next week.
He will line up against two-time Australian Driver’s Champion Joey Mawson and 2021 Tasman Series winner, Aaron Cameron.
Nic Carroll, Jordan Boys, Zane Goddard, Mark Rosser, Cooper Webster, Blake Purdie and Matt McLean add further firepower to the grid.
Action from Symmons Plains will be broadcast live on Stan Sport and the Nine Network around Australia, with international live streaming also available via YouTube.
“I am very happy to come back to S5000 together with GRM,” Merhi said.
“I have very nice memories from my time there. Last time I was in Australia was 2021 and I was pretty close to winning the Tasman Series.
“I am looking forward to jumping in the car again and it will also be a new track for me, which is always challenging.
“I will try to do my best and adapt quickly to the car and the circuit again.”