The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship intends to add an open-wheel series as a support race for the V-8-powered touring car main event, and the design for its proposed race car has just been revealed. No, we didn’t mess up and post a vintage race car from the 1970s by accident. If the design is well received and Australian fans want a new support series, this retro-styled body will actually appear on the cars competing in a new Super5000 series.
The car’s look is inspired by the Formula 5000 race cars of the 1970s, and the Super5000 class is said to be a “modern take” on the popular Australian racing formula. The new car was designed by SupaShock, an Australian suspension company and engineering outfit that’s no stranger to building race cars. The Super5000 utilizes a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, a 5.0-liter V-8 engine shared with the Supercars series, and an Albins transaxle. The engine makes 600-plus hp, about the same as a V-8 Supercar, but the lower weight and higher grip from the wider tires and large wings make the Super5000 significantly quicker. The first car has already conducted tests at several tracks and has received good feedback from the test drivers.
Not everyone is happy about the proposed new car and series, however. Chris Lambden, creator of Formula Thunder 5000, says the Supercar Championship’s “copycat” series rips off his concept, Speedcafe reports. Lambden has reportedly spent two years developing and self-funding his own F5000 tribute series, which would use a more contemporary race car design but keep the periscope air intake as a throwback to the 1970s cars. Supercars CEO James Warburton claims the company retained the intellectual property rights to a 5000 series in March 2015 as part of its goal to grow Australian motorsports by 2025. “Now this car has been developed and fully tested the market will ultimately decide,” Warburton said in a post on the Supercars Championship’s website.