US-based Australian Matt Brabham has declared the new S5000 open wheel car “exciting”, but a machine that needs to be treated with “real respect”.
Brabham came to his conclusions after successfully completing a test day for the new Australian-developed car at the Phillip Island Grand Prix track in Victoria today.
Brabham’s Mtec Motorsport-prepared car was one of 12 that started the day, the majority of which were being driven by competitors for the first time.
It was a welcomed return to Phillip Island for Brabham who had his first ever car race at the Victorian circuit in a Formula Ford.
The day included a group of national and international drivers headed by Brabham and former Formula One star Rubens Barichello.
The weekend will be Brabham’s first race in a wings and slicks machine since competing with PIRTEK Team Murray in the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
Brabham is a third generation driver following in the footsteps of his Le Mans 24-hour winning father, Geoff, and his three-time F1 world champion grandfather, Sir Jack.
The S5000 car is based on the French-designed Onroak-Ligier carbon-fibre chassis powered by a 560-horsepower five-litre engine with a holinger gearbox/transaxle with control wheels, tyres, suspension and electronics.
The cars will be back on track at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne for practice on Friday before the opening races for the category at the weekend.
WHAT MATT HAS TO SAY…..
“It has been a very productive day,” said Brabham.
“Obviously we are starting from scratch with a brand new car where everything is totally new to me and to the team.
“The car has a lot of power and is heavy and you really need to sneak up on it.
“You have to have half a clue of what you are doing or it could catch you out pretty quickly.
“It has been great to get these laps under the belt at such a spectacular track as Phillip Island and I am sure there will be plenty to digest before we get back on track at Sandown on Friday.
“It has been interesting to see many different faces from the industry here all taking an interest in what this category is about.
“The boys at Mtec Motorsport have been great to work with and I think we have made some real progress, which I think with translate as we head into the weekend.”