AUGUST 31, 2006
Formula 5000 in Albert Park?
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that the Australian Grand Prix Corporation is considering a proposal from the Victorian Historic Racing Register in conjunction with the New Zealand Formula 5000 Association to field a 30 Formula 5000 cars as a Grand Prix support event in 2007.
Formula 5000 was a championship that ran in a variety of different countries between 1968 and 1986, initially in the United States of America, where it grew out of the success of the CanAm sports car series, using cheap stock-block V8 engines up to 5-litres (5000cc). It quickly attracted manufacturers such as Lola, McLaren, Eagle and March and in its heyday attracted many big names with champions around the world including Brian Redman, Jody Scheckter, Patrick Tambay, Alan Jones, Jacky Ickx, Al Unser, Peter Gethin, Frank Gardner and David Purley. The desire to squeeze more horsepower from the old engines led to increased costs and less reliability and many teams decided that racing in Cosworth DFV-engined series made more sense.
The Formula 5000s weighed 600kg and had around 600hp and that meant they could reach top speeds of 200mph although the cars were cumbersome in the corners.
It remains to be seen whether the organisers think that running 30-year-old cars close to the concrete walls at Albert Park is a good idea.
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