New Zealand motorsports legend Greg Murphy offered a glowing endorsement of the all-new S5000 open-wheel racing car after getting his first laps of the prototype at the Newcastle street circuit.
Murphy, winner of the 1994 New Zealand Grand Prix and a four-time Bathurst 1000 winner, completed three laps of the Newcastle track between Virgin Supercars sessions with the 560hp V8-powered car, which was making its first public appearance.
“It’s always great getting behind the wheel of something new and especially something as exciting as the S5000,” said Murphy. “I’m very honored and privileged to get the chance to do it, but I only did a couple of laps, and it wasn’t enough – I want more now!”
While emulating the Formula 5000 cars of yesteryear, the new Onroak-Ligier-built S5000 chassis incorporates a carbon fiber monocoque as well as the FIA halo protective device. All components will be spec to help control costs, with power being created by a sealed 5.0-liter Ford Coyote ‘Aluminator’ V8 engine. Other features include a Holinger six-speed sequential transaxle and 17-inch rear tires.
“If you can master one of these, and if the field of drivers is of a high caliber – young and fast – then this will be a steppingstone to Europe and America,” Murphy added. “This car needs young drivers with no fear who are willing to push the envelope.
“I hope that it can bring back a new interest in this time of formula in Australasia. There are a few Kiwis who are keen to get behind the wheel of these cars. I really hope it’s a massive success. It deserves to be because it is fast, loud, cost effective and very reliable.”
Former Australian Gold Star champion John Bowe will drive the car in more demonstration laps at Newcastle tomorrow.