Matt McLean signs with VERSA for S5000 title campaign
MATT McLean will join VERSA Motorsport to contest the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship this year.
The 26-year-old from Melbourne first tasted S5000s unique blend of horsepower, wings and slicks at the S5000 Open Evaluation test at The Bend last year, driving for Versa Motorsport and impressing with his instant pace.
He enters S5000 with a wealth of V8-powered experience under his belt following two seasons contesting the Dunlop Super2 Series with Eggleston Motorsport.
Among his Super2 highlights included a podium finish at Mount Panorama, 5th in the 2021 championship and claiming both the coveted Mike Cable Young Gun Award and Rookie of the year awards following his 2021 season.
Prior to that McLean won multiple Australian Karting Championships amidst a glittering career in Karting prior to jumping to cars.
McLean joins Versa Motorsport to contest the full 2023 championship as the team pushes hard with expansion plans this year.
They will field three cars at the AWC Race Tasmania Season Opener, McLean to be joined by Blake Purdie and Cooper Webster at Symmons Plains.
The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship opens across the February 24-26 weekend, with live coverage on Stan Sport and the Nine Network around Australia.
“Matt has shown his talent throughout his strong karting career, two years in Super2 and claiming both the Mike Cable award and Rookie of the Year shows how good he is,” Versa Motorsport team owner Toby Pope said.
“We’re thrilled to have him join our team for the season ahead and fight for wins. He comes to S5000 battle hardened like all our drivers and team members that join the team we look forward to all learning from each other.
“Its clear that when guys are getting to the Supercar level or wanting to go overseas to race, S5000 is the best place for them to really develop their skills. Randle, Golding in the last two years honed their skills there while waiting for the right opportunity, Herne now is in the USA on the path to NASCAR and Cooper got offered an open wheel seat in the UK on the path to F1.
“The Race Tasmania field will have four Supercars drivers and some of the best young talents in the country – it’s going to be great.”
“I’m seriously excited to run the year with Versa Motorsport in S5000. I’ve known Toby for 10 years from back in the karting days and have been friends ever since, and to receive this opportunity from him has been a very special moment for me.
“Cooper and I both won Junior and Senior National Championships simultaneously whilst racing for the same brand back in 2016, so it’s cool to be back in the same camp with him just like old days.
“I sampled the S5000 with the team back at an evaluation at The Bend and was keen on putting a deal together straight away.
“Our pace seems strong, and in combination with the teams professionalism I think we’ll have a very solid year.“