Such is the powerful thirst for motorsport Down Under a new open wheeled race series is about to start down there just as the big World Championship series wind down for the winter. Formula S5000 is the official title but we will be referring to it as Formula Oz for the purposes of this blog. It will also feature one of F1’s most popular drivers, Brazilian Reubens Barrichello and Mathew Brabham, latest addition to the Brabham racing heritage.

Though it starts at Sandown Raceway, hopefully it will include classic tracks such as Philip Island and Adelaide. Apparently it will be part of the support for the Australian Grand Prix so Melbourne’s Abert Park should feature at some point.

The series runs cars at a form of Formula 3 spec so similar to W Series in terms of chassis but FOz will be running substantially beefier power plants. W Series runs an (admittedly turbo charged) 1.4L, while the Aussies will have 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated quad-cam Ford Coyote V8s. This makes the series a reboot of the much loved Formula 5000, a low cost, hi cool alternative to F1 from the 1970s and 80s.

They do love their V8s down there – enjoy them while you’ve got them fellas – I expect you’ll be Formula OzE before long.