The V8-powered open-wheeler category has added the non-professional class in a bid to attract more competitors following a year of slim fields.
It will be known as Pro-Am for the upcoming Tasman Series, which will take in the Gold Coast and Adelaide Supercars events, and then Silver Star for the Australian Drivers’ Championship, sitting under the Gold Star.
The schedule for the 2023 Gold Star/Silver Star season is yet to be set, although there has been talk of a focus on high-profile Supercars events.
The new class has already attracted one competitor, with GT regular Mark Rosser signing on with Team BRM for the Tasman Series.
Rosser knows Team BRM well, the squad having fielded his Audi for the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this year.
He shared the Audi with Team BRM S5000 driver and two-time Gold Star winner Joey Mawson.
“I’m looking forward to jumping in the S5000 for the Tasman Series,” Rosser said.
“The Gold Coast looks like a good challenge so I’m excited for that, but mostly I am excited for the Adelaide 500 as my fascination with motorsport started there back in the 1980s, seeing the F1 cars flying around the streets of my home city.
“To get to drive an open-wheel car on that circuit will be an amazing experience.
“We are planning to do a few more days in the car before Gold Coast which should help me get somewhat up to speed, and in general my driving has improved a lot since the start of the year as well.
“The addition of the Pro-Am class has a lot of appeal and I’m hoping to have some fellow drivers to compete with for this title.”
S5000 category administrator Ben McMellan said adding a Pro-Am class was logical step.
“S5000 has to this point operated as one of the few major national categories without a defined category or class for semi-professional drivers to compete against each other,” McMellan explained.
“It was the logical next step in the evolution in the category and comes off the back of feedback from our teams and potential competitors in a Pro-Am category.
“It’s a tough ask for someone like Mark Rosser, for example, to compete for trophies with a young star like Joey Mawson – but they still have the drive to race open-wheelers at a high level.
“The Pro-Am class, and the Silver Star award in the 2023 championship, gives them an opportunity to compete for their own awards while continuing to benchmark themselves on the outstanding professional talent racing at the front of the field.
“We have had positive early interest for both the 2022 Tasman Series and the 2023 championship and we’re looking forward to seeing it evolve.”