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Rosser takes rare racing chance ahead of Phillip Island S5000 debut

A chance to gain valuable pre-event preparation in actual racing conditions has Team BRM racer Mark Rosser ready for the second round of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit next week.

Rosser, a relative ‘wings and slicks’ rookie, made the transition from GT racing to Australia’s quickest racing cars full time this year and took advantage of a rare opportunity for pre-event racing practice at the iconic circuit ahead of the 11-13 May Shannons SpeedSeries event.

The Fuzzies Game Team BRM driver raced as an invited car within the Australian Prototype Series during their season opener at the weekend.

“At previous rounds I’ve had to learn the circuit and the car at the same time, so this was a great opportunity,” Rosser explained.

“We were planning a test at Phillip Island earlier this year but it didn’t happen, so when I saw the Australian Prototype Series was racing there last weekend, I reached out and asked if they’d let me join, which they did.

“It was a really valuable way to prepare for the race next weekend and it went really well.”

Rosser worked with two-time Gold Star winner and regular teammate Joey Mawson throughout the weekend and showed rapid improvement throughout.

Though not competing for APS points, Rosser’s pace improved significantly throughout the event leaving him in a positive mindset ahead of returning with the full ADC field next week.

“We made great progress. It rained on the first day which wasn’t a bad thing, there’s always a chance that it will rain at the Island so getting more practice in the Wet is invaluable,” he said.

“I had Joey coaching and he was giving great feedback, looking at where I need to focus and need to find time, to push harder.

“By the end of it I felt confident in the car and confident in finding the limits.”

The South Australian driver noted the physicality of lapping the S5000 at Australia’s fastest circuit, which has an average speed in excess of 180km/hr per lap.

It was something that Mawson – notably one of the fittest people in the paddock – had warned Rosser about prior to the event.

“It was hard work!” Rosser explained.

“Joey warned me. He’s a super fit, elite athlete and he said that he got out of the car and felt worn out.

“I’ve been taking tips from him and working on my fitness a lot and I felt reasonable getting out.

“The S5000 has quite heavy steering and the only place at Phillip Island you really get a rest is down the straight, otherwise you’re always turning or doing something. It’s very physical and the long, fast and sweeping corners means you’re always loaded up on the arms.

“It’s a great challenge though, and I can’t wait for next week.”

Tickets for the opening round of the season are still available via motorsporttickets.com.au.

For those who are unable to make the trip to Phillip Island, Stan Sport will provide live and uninterrupted coverage from most of Saturday and Sunday’s action, while 9Gem will also broadcast three hours of Saturday afternoon’s racing.

The second round of the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship kicks off at the Shannons SpeedSeries Phillip Island event on 12-14 May.