June 19, 2020 | General

James Golding impressed with young drivers at S5000 evaluation

Garry Rogers Motorsport driver James Golding has left the Phillip Island circuit impressed with the young talent who drove the S5000 open wheel race cars today.

As part of evaluation test at the famous Victorian circuit, rising stars Nathan Herne, Cody Burcher and Cooper Webster all completed over 40 laps each.

Trans Am regular Herne drove the car that Luis Leeds drove at the Grand Prix, Formula Ford star Burcher drove the Jack Aitken AGP car, while former karter Webster was given his opportunity thanks to car owner Albert Callegher.

The first two sessions were held in controlled conditions, with Golding leading the young chargers around the track to give them an understanding on the lines and styles it takes to get the most out of the V8-powered single seaters.

The remainder of the day saw the young fliers stretch their legs across the 4.4km circuit, with Golding offering driving advice.

All three rookies enjoyed the experience and will consider more testing and racing, if the opportunity arises.

Victorian Reef McCarthy was on hand at the test but did not complete a lap on the day.

The opening round of the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on August 14-15.


James Golding
S5000 driver

My job for the day was to bring the rookies up to speed and answer any questions they have about the S5000 cars,” said Golding.

“I’ve been taking them out on track behind me so they can follow my lines and they all really enjoyed the day.”

“They are awesome cars to drive but you really have to respect them and they’re slowly learning that throughout the day.”

Nathan Herne
Trans Am driver

“They’re pretty cool, they’re like a Trans-Am but in an open-wheeler body,” said Herne.

“The S5000 is a rear-engined car so there was still a fair bit to get used to in terms of transferring the weight through the corners. The Trans-Ams really like to use the brakes hard in the mid-corner and get the weight transferred around but the S5000s require a smoother driving style, they don’t like to be flicked around but they’re good fun to drive.

“They are good to drive with the big hoosier tyres on the back. Hoosiers are what I’ve been used to in Trans-Am so there were few things I could relate to with the same brand of tyre on the S5000s.”

Cody Burcher

Formula Ford driver

“They are great cars to drive, obviously a handful with the massive amount of power and there was definitely a lot of fish-tailing out of the low speed corners,” said Burcher.

“It’s credit to everyone who was involved in creating these cars, they are a weapon to drive and so much fun.

“This is the most powerful car I’ve ever driven, you drive out of the pits and as soon as you take off the pit limiter and it pushes you back further into the seat which is really cool. 

“The power is the most standout part of the car and the top speed hitting over 290 kmh down the front straight of Phillip Island.

“It’s awesome fun, definitely an eye opener and your reflexes have to be on point but once you get used to it they’re phenomenal to drive and so much fun.”

Cooper Webster
Former Karter

“What an experience it is to get to drive the S5000 around Phillip Island,” said Webster.

“I’ve learned so much in two sessions so far. I’ve never driven anything like this, so it’s been a great learning experience and it’s amazing how fast the car is and what you can do with the amount of aero grip it has.

“I’ve raced go karts and come out of Hyundai Excels and jumped into this S5000 open-wheeler car. A lot of things are different, it is more similar to a go-kart than an Excel but I’ve learnt the size of the tracks in Excels and how quick you can travel in a car but this has a lot more horsepower and weight added to it and the downforce is completely different to anything I have driven but I’m having fun learning it.”