S5000 announces three-part qualifying format for inaugural season
S5000, the brand new Australian open-wheel series set to debut at Sandown on September 20-22, has announced that they will use a three-part qualifying system to determine the grid for a Feature Race each Sunday.
Drivers will compete in an initial Qualifying session, setting the fastest time possible in a timed session.
The top 75% of the field will then select their grid spots for a pair of Qualifying Heats. The position selected for Heat 1 corresponds with the inverse position for Heat 2. Drivers will select their grid spots in the order of their qualifying times. The remaining 25% will start each Heat from the rear of the field.
For example, in a field of 10 drivers, choosing pole for Qualifying Heat 1 will mean that driver starts Qualifying Heat 2 in P7.
Points from the three sessions will be combined to set the final grid for the Feature Race.
Chris Lambden, Category Manager, said “we want entertaining racing all weekend, so the idea is that for the Main Race, the person on pole has to earn it – by racing and passing other cars.”
“This will certainly mix things up during the two Qualifying Heats – much like the Top 8 reversals in international F2 and F3 do – and the reward for qualifying fastest is the right to pick first. Points from Qualifying, plus the two Qualifying Heats will determine the grid for the Main race – which in a full championship series will earn the majority of the points.”
“I’m a fan of World Speedway, where the riders get to select their starting gates for the finals based on their performance in the heats. It adds a bit of theatre to it all and a reward for performance. And in our case, whoever gets pole for the Main Race will certainly have earned it, by needing to pass a few cars along the way.”
“It should provide some action and excitement on the way to Sunday's Main Race. It’s what we’re planning to do for next year’s championship series, and it’s a great opportunity to try it out.”