The 2021 S5000 Australian Drivers' Championship, known by its sponsored identity the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers' Championship, was the inaugural season of the Australian S5000 Championship, run after a series of exhibition races in 2019. The series was sanctioned by Motorsport Australia (MA) and promoted by the Australian Racing Group as part of the 2020 and 2021 Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Series. The season was held over 4 rounds, it began in January at Symmons Plains Raceway and ended in May at Sydney Motorsport Park. Joey Mawson won the Australian Drivers' Championship (MA Gold Star) title.
Teams and drivers
The following teams and drivers were under contract to compete in the 2021 championship:
|Team BRM||15||Kaleb Ngatoa||2–4|||
|Tim Macrow Racing||23||Tim Macrow||All[a]|||
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||29||Nathan Herne||All|||
|Astuti Motorsport||39||Antonio Astuti||1–3[b]|||
|Australian Racing Enterprise||88||Cooper Webster||All|||
|Willmington Motorsport||89||Braydan Willmington||All[a]|||
|Modena Engineering||92||Ricky Capo||All[a]|||
The following drivers only competed in practice and/or qualifying for the abandoned March 2020 round at Melbourne:
|Team BRM||16||Jack Aitken|||
|Milldun Motorsport||27||Barton Mawer|||
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||34||Alexandre Prémat|||
|Borland Racing Developments||38||Giancarlo Fisichella|||
The original 2020 calendar proposal was released on 29 October 2019, with six confirmed rounds, plus one non-championship round at the "Bathurst International", all held in Australia. Qualifying was held during the opening round at Melbourne, but the event was abandoned on March 13, 2020, as the headlining Australian Grand Prix had been cancelled by Formula 1 because of McLaren's withdrawal after a team member was tested positive for COVID-19.
With multiple disruptions delaying the season start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, heavy border restrictions in Australia further complicating the holding of the championship, and various calendar revisions that did not went ahead as scheduled, the season started in January 2021, with a four-round calendar where one venue was still to be announced. It included a round at Symmons Plains, which was not featured in the calendar until the May 2020 revision. Rounds at Winton and The Bend were not rescheduled, while the rounds at Melbourne and Bathurst were set apart from the calendar due to their later dates as support events for the Australian Grand Prix and the inaugural Bathurst International, being later featured as part of the end-of-year S5000 Tasman Series. The round at Phillip Island was later postponed and rescheduled. On 16 February 2021 it was announced the third round would be held at Sandown. As had been planned for 2020, the winner of each feature race received a trophy named in honour of former Australian racing drivers.
|1||Symmons Plains Raceway||John McCormack Cup||Launceston, Tasmania||25–26 January[c]|
|2||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||Costanzo Cup||Phillip Island, Victoria||13–14 March[d]|
|3||Sandown Raceway||John Bowe Trophy||Springvale, Victoria||21 March[e]|
|4||Sydney Motorsport Park||Warwick Brown Cup||Eastern Creek, New South Wales||1–2 May[f]|
The following racetracks were included at some point on the 2020 calendar, but were not rescheduled for the 2021 Australian Drivers' Championship.
|Albert Park Circuit||Melbourne, Victoria||12–15 March 2020[g]|
|Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||1–3 May 2020|
|The Bend Motorsport Park||Tailem Bend, South Australia||12–14 June 2020|
|Mount Panorama Circuit||Bathurst, New South Wales||13–15 November 2020[h]|
S5000 Tasman Series
The follow-up season, initially billed as the 2021–2022 S5000 Australian Drivers Championship, was planned to feature the inaugural holding of the S5000 International Triple Crown, a stand-alone series-within-the-series consisting of the three events held in Melbourne, Bathurst and Gold Coast, supporting the Australian Grand Prix, the Bathurst International and the Gold Coast 500 respectively. After the cancellation of the 2021 Australian Grand Prix, it was decided to instead revive the Tasman Series with the remaining 2021 rounds, separate from the S5000 Australian Drivers Championship that will be held in 2022.
|Round||Circuit||Date||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Winning entrant|
|1||H1||Symmons Plains Raceway||25 January||Thomas Randle||Thomas Randle||Joey Mawson||Team BRM|
|H2||26 January||Joey Mawson||Tim Macrow||Macrow Racing|
|ME||Thomas Randle||Thomas Randle||Team BRM|
|2||H1||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||13 March||James Golding||Joey Mawson||Tim Macrow||Macrow Racing|
|H2||Thomas Randle||Cooper Webster||Australian Racing Enterprise|
|ME||14 March||Joey Mawson||Joey Mawson||Team BRM|
|3||H1||Sandown Raceway||20 March||Joey Mawson||Joey Mawson||James Golding||Garry Rogers Motorsport|
|H2||21 March||Kaleb Ngatoa||Kaleb Ngatoa||Team BRM|
|ME||Joey Mawson||Joey Mawson||Team BRM|
|4||H1||Sydney Motorsport Park||1 May||Joey Mawson||James Golding||James Golding||Garry Rogers Motorsport|
|H2||Cooper Webster||Kaleb Ngatoa||Team BRM|
|ME||2 May||James Golding||James Golding||Garry Rogers Motorsport|
At each meeting, a qualifying session, two qualifying heats and a Main Event were held. Meeting points were awarded to the fastest ten qualifiers in qualifying, where the grid for the first heat was set. For the second heat, the top 75% from qualifying were reversed. The grid for the Main Event was defined by the points earned by the drivers across the weekend.
- Competed in the abandoned March 2020 event at Melbourne.
- Competed in the abandoned March 2020 event at Melbourne with Tim Macrow Racing.
- Not included in the original 2020 calendar; scheduled as part of the May 2020 calendar revision
- Originally due to take place on 23 August 2020; then scheduled for October 2020 and later postponed without a date before being rescheduled.
- Originally due to take place on 13 September 2020, it was initially cancelled before being rescheduled.
- Originally due to take place on 29 March 2020, it was subsequently rescheduled for 16 August 2020 and 6 September 2020, and then cancelled before being rescheduled.
- Qualifying was held on 12 March 2020; the event was abandoned on 13 March 2020.
- Originally scheduled as a non-championship round, it became a points event in the May 2020 revision.
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- "S5000 to race in August as part of five-round season return". Highway F1. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
- "SYDNEY DATE SWITCH FOR SHANNONS OPENER". 10 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
- "Further revisions to Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships calendar". S5000. 2020-07-31. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
- "Bathurst International debut postponed until 2021 - Bathurst International". Bathurst International. 2020-10-06. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
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- "TWO AND FOUR WHEELS JOIN TOGETHER AT PHILLIP ISLAND IN FEBRUARY". 23 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
- "Date confirmed for the inaugural Bathurst International at Mount Panorama". S5000. 2021-02-18. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
- "Phillip Island TCR/S5000 round postponed". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
- "NEW PHILLIP ISLAND DATE LOCKED IN FOR MARCH". Australian Racing Group. 16 February 2021.
- "SANDOWN ADDED TO 2021 S5000 CALENDAR". 16 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
- McCarthy, Dan (17 December 2020). "McCormack Cup to be Awarded in S5000". Auto Action. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- McAlpine, Heath (10 February 2021). "Costanzo Cup to be Awarded at Phillip Island". Auto Action. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- McAlpine, Heath. "John Bowe Trophy to be Awarded at Sandown". Auto Action. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "Warwick Brown Cup for the taking in S5000 finale". Speedcafe. 15 April 2021.
- "2020 S5000 Australia Series Sporting and Technical Regulations" (PDF). 2020-06-06. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-06-06. Retrieved 2021-01-25.