The Spaniard is one among two worldwide drivers that can make the most of the freshly-opened worldwide border to New South Wales.
The opposite is Japanese System 3 and GT racer Yoshiaki Katayama, the pair set to affix the Gold Star-winning Group BRM for the two-round, seven race Tasman Collection as a part of a three-car group with reigning champion Joey Mawson.
Katayama is because of land in Australia at the moment earlier than Merhi arrives tomorrow forward of the official collection check session at Sydney Motorsport Park on Thursday evening.
They are going to then each race at SMP this weekend and as a part of S5000’s highly-anticipated debut at Mount Panorama through the first week of December.
Merhi is a vastly skilled open-wheel driver. He gained the F3 Euro Collection in 2011 and completed third in System Renault 3.5 in 2014.
He then spent many of the 2015 season driving for Manor in System 1 earlier than shifting his profession focus to sportscars lately.
“I’ve been watching S5000 from a distance and did see one testing once I was [in Australia] for the Asian Le Mans Collection race at The Bend final yr, so I can’t wait to get to Sydney for the primary spherical,” mentioned Merhi.
“And Bathurst … we’ve seen the Bathurst 1000 many occasions on TV, so to drive a strong open-wheeler just like the Alabar/Form700 automobile round there might be fairly attention-grabbing, to say the least.”
Katayama has loads of open-wheeler expertise himself having tasted success within the All-Japan System 3 Championship and Tremendous System Lights. Nevertheless this might be his first journey down below.
“I’m very enthusiastic about my first drive within the S5000 automobile; my first go to to Australia and my first race at each these tracks – particularly Bathurst, which might be superb,” he mentioned.
“I’ve been desirous to drive an S5000 since I first noticed them on YouTube!
“I’d prefer to thank Alabar and Kind 700 for the chance to return to Australia, and Group BRM, and hope we will obtain an ideal end result to point out Japan that there’s such a enjoyable race components in Australia!”
S5000 has been in hiatus for the reason that compact 2021 Gold Star season got here to an finish in Sydney again in Could.
Mawson, Merhi and Katayama might be amongst these vying so as to add their identify to the the illustrious checklist of Tasman Cup winners, the well-known identify being revived with the blessing of each Motorsport Australia and MotorSport New Zealand.
That is regardless of the collection solely participating in Australia, border points making it each unimaginable so as to add a New Zealand spherical and even welcome a robust contingent of NZ drivers to Australia.
The identical issues with the NZ border late final week dominated out the Greg Murphy/Richie Stanaway wildcard entry for the Bathurst 1000.
The Tasman Collection will function a $50,000 prize pool, $5000 of which is devoted to the best-performing worldwide driver.
A function race format might be in play for the 2 occasions, with partially reversed grids for heats and a factors weighting for the finale.