F1 racing is getting big in Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the launch of a modern version of Formula 5000 category, the Formula Thunder 5000.
Led by former Australian Touring Car Championship racer Chris Lambden, the new category is aiming to create a summer seven-round Tasman Series across New Zealand, and part of Australia. It will run in December and January.
The new racing category will feature a Swift Engineering chassis and will be powered by a five-litre, 570 horsepower Coyote V8 engine. The prototype, which has a total weight of around 680 kilograms, is now on the final stage of development at Borland Racing Development in Melbourne, Australia.
“The FT5000 car will be a seriously challenging, powerful, fast, open-wheeler race car to drive, and the sight and sound of a grid full of them getting off the line should be awesome, ” Lambden said, via the Motosports.com.
In building the prototype, Lambden has utilized a number of Australian companies and some selected foreign firms to put together the technical package and build the prototype.
Much of the car parts are made in Australia, the quad-cam, 570bhp Ford Coyote engines have been sourced from Melbourne-based InnoV8.Adelaide-based SupaShock will supply the control dampers while the six-speed sequential gearbox comes from Holinger.
The carbon fibre elements of the chassis are being engineered by ex-McLaren composites engineer Lee Cason, based in Melbourne. The wheels are made from New Zealand-based Arrow while the tyres are being specifically made for the category by Chinese behemoth Giti.
Working on the FT5000 project for almost two years, Lambden hopes that today’s launch will drive so much media attention and buzz, which in turn, will drive strong support from the racing community.
Lambden says that FT5000 will likely run at standalone race meetings this coming summer. The car is expected to cost around $240000 each.
Picture Courtesy: Nick Redhead/Flickr Creative Commons