THE AUSTRALIAN S5000 Championship will honour some of Australian open-wheel racing greats in 2020, starting with 1980 World Champion Alan Jones.
Series owners Australian Racing Group have confirmed that drivers contesting the opening round of the 2020 championship at Albert Park will be competing for the Alan Jones Cup, with the former World Champion to present the trophy following Sunday’s feature race.
Jones won the World Championship in 1980, with this year marking the 40th anniversary of the achievement.
Subsequent rounds will then honour stars of the iconic Formula 5000 era throughout the remainder of the year.
Preceding his success in Formula 1, Jones cut his teeth in Formula 5000 racing in Europe, the USA and Australia – most famously driving an iconic Theodore Racing Lola T332 owned by Hong Kong businessman Teddy Yip to race wins in both the 1976 SCCA/USAC and 1977 Australian (Rothmans series) championships.
“AJ has been a great supporter of the S5000 concept from the start, and has been there to run ideas past all the way,” said S5000 category manager Chris Lambden.
“It’s terrific that he is the first of the legends linked to our events this year.”
For his part, Jones’ support for S5000 is unequivocal.
“Yes, I’m a strong supporter – it’s something that’s been lacking from Australian motorsport for a while,” said Jones.
“S5000 will provide a terrific challenge for young Australian open-wheeler drivers, and provide the environment in which to show what they’ve got in terms of serious open-wheeler credentials.
“I reckon Australia’s next world champion will come from S5000.”
S5000 will run to its championship format at the Grand Prix, with qualifying on Thursday afternoon, Races 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday respectively, all leading to Race 3, the feature event, on Sunday.
The other legendary Formula 5000 drivers set to be honoured as part of the 2020 S5000 Championship will be confirmed in due course.