S5000 title to be decided in Darwin as 2022 calendar revised
DARWIN will host a major national championship decider for the first time this year, with the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship to be decided at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown this June 17-19.
Following lengthy discussions with teams, key partners and Motorsport Australia, the 2022 Gold Star will be awarded in Darwin this year, rather than the previously scheduled Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event at Sandown.
The late September date for that event would have seen a lengthy three-month break between rounds.
Instead, the decision has been made to avoid that lengthy break and instead consolidate high profile opportunities that will offer opportunities for growing the category footprint, both in Australia and globally, at the back-end of the 2022 season.
As such, the Gold Star championship will conclude following the June event in Darwin before the cars return to the track in October for the Tasman Series.
The mid-year break will allow for teams to plan ahead for both the Tasman Series and the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, which is in the early stages of calendar planning.
The Tasman series will commence on the streets of Surfers Paradise at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 600 in October, which returns ‘big banger’ open wheelers to the streets of the Gold Coast for the first time since 2008.
The following round will then be held at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International in November two weeks later, with the addition of a third high-profile event currently being investigated.
The shift will first and foremost assist teams by reducing budgets and improving logistics in what was a busy, long-haul calendar planned for this year.
The focus will also ensure the championship competes at major events for the remainder of the 2022 season, capitalising on the momentum gained at the Australian Grand Prix last month, where a capacity 16-strong field competed and put on a show.
Four rounds of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship have already been completed, reigning champion Joey Mawson leading the standings in his bid for back-to-back titles.
Double Gold Star champion Tim Macrow sits second in the standings while James Golding and Cooper Webster, who sit third and fourth, also remain in title contention.
S5000 Australian Drivers Championship, Category Manager
“Following feedback gathered from teams, we’ve elected to make these changes to the schedule in order to continue the fantastic momentum the category gained from its appearance at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix last month and to provide a better calendar for our key stakeholders, the teams and drivers,” Liam Curkpatrick said.
“This is about positioning the category to take advantage of both the currently scheduled and potential high-profile events later this year, to ensure we have a strong finish to 2022.
“The long break between Darwin and Sandown in September was proving a challenge for our teams and drivers and the overwhelming feedback has been that it’s better for everyone to put in a full stop after Darwin, and return after a break in October for the Tasman Series.
Revised 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship calendar:
Round 1: Symmons Plains Raceway (Race Tasmania) February 11-13
Round 2: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships) March 18-20
Round 3: Albert Park Street Circuit (Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix) April 7-10
Round 4: Sydney Motorsport Park (Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships) May 27-29
Round 5: Hidden Valley Raceway (Merlin Darwin Triple Crown) June 17-19
Tasman Series Round 1: Surfers Paradise Street Circuit (Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500) October 29-30
Tasman Series Round 2: Mount Panorama, Bathurst (Supercheap Auto Bathurst International) November 11-13