One of the most famous racing families in world motorsport will again be in Surfers Paradise next October for the Gold Coast 300 -- and it cannot wait! Michael Andretti was the inaugural pole sitter for the Gold Coast race back in 1991 and...
One of the most famous racing families in world motorsport will again be in Surfers Paradise next October for the Gold Coast 300 -- and it cannot wait!
Michael Andretti was the inaugural pole sitter for the Gold Coast race back in 1991 and went on to win it in his first ever start in a Reynard chassis in 1994.
Andretti's son Marco raced on the Gold Coast for the first time in October as part of a one-off Indy Racing League event and is set to be a starter in 2009 if he gets his way.
After an 18-year association with American-based open-wheel racing, it has been announced that the Gold Coast 300 will by highlighted by a round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 2009 as well as the home-grown V8 Supercar Series.
Andretti Green Racing recently took up the US team franchise for the A1GP Series and Marco made his debut in China before his second A1GP race weekend (held in Malaysia, November 23) saw him take his first podium finish.
Michael Andretti said that the Surfers Paradise event was one of the true great spectacles in world racing and he believed he was fortunate to have a reason to return to the Gold Coast in 2009.
Ironically, Michael's father Mario, possibly the most versatile driver of the modern era, had his last ever open-wheel podium finish at the Gold Coast along with Michael in 1994.
"Surfer's is an incredible venue," said Michael Andretti.
"It's a great addition to the A1GP schedule; it's going to be a huge race for them.
"We're just fortunate to be in a position to compete there again in the future.
"Andretti Green is in a unique position in the sense that we have teams in both the IndyCar Series and A1GP, so we lost Australia from one schedule, but gained it on another.
"It's just one of those events that you want to be involved in and look forward to as a driver or as a team owner.
"Marco just got back from his first race down there and loved it. I'm sure he is going to be lobbying to drive our A1GP car when we head back there in 2009."
Marco is one of three drivers currently being considered by Andretti Green to campaign the A1GP car along with female racer Danica Patrick, who was a huge hit through her first visit to Australia last month and youngster Charlie Kimball.
A1GP championship points are awarded to each country's entry and not the driver, which means that drivers can be swapped in and out on a regular basis.
Gold Coast 300 General Manager, Greg Hooton, said he and his team were looking forward to hosting the Andrettis again in 2009.
"I'm excited to announce that A1GP will now be racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise and that we're able to bring the World Cup of Motorsport to the Gold Coast and Australia," said Hooton.
"There is an impressive growing list of names associated with the A1GP Series and to have the Andretti family back in 2009 will be a bonus for us.
"We view the new partnership with A1GP as a great opportunity to continue to further develop the event and a wonderful attribute for the Gold Coast.
"It is critical for us to continue to produce a world class motorsport event and being able to combine the uniqueness of A1GP within Australia's most popular motor racing festival gives us a great platform for future growth."