Australian race officials to visit IRL office

GOLD COAST OFFICIALS HEAD TO INDIANAPOLIS Gold Coast Indy 300 General Manager Greg Hooton and Chairman Terry Mackenroth will fly to the US this today to finalise a deal to make the iconic Australian event a part of a new era of international ...

GOLD COAST OFFICIALS HEAD TO INDIANAPOLIS

Gold Coast Indy 300 General Manager Greg Hooton and Chairman Terry Mackenroth will fly to the US this today to finalise a deal to make the iconic Australian event a part of a new era of international open-wheel racing.

The Australian race was confirmed as an important part of the new unified IndyCar Series between the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series, which was formerly ratified with a media conference in Miami, Florida this morning.

At this stage the 2008 IndyCar Series consists of 16 race weekends, starting at Miami on March 29 and will grow to 18 with the inclusion of Australia and Edmonton.

IndyCar Series organisers will meet with Hooton and Mackenroth and with Edmonton officials in an effort to make their inclusion in the 2008 championship as seamless as possible.

Existing Champ Car teams will run their 2007 Panoz DP01 chassis for the last time in a one-off race at Long Beach in April on the same weekend as the IRL race at Motegi, Japan and both races will count towards the 2008 IndyCar Series title.

"There were a lot of positive words said about our event at today's media conference and we look forward to our discussions over the next few days," said Hooton.

"Obviously there are a lot of logistical issues that we need to work our way through in this important transitional period, but the new-look series wants to accommodate us.

"The response to this morning's media conference by the media and the motorsport community in general has been amazing and points to a fantastic future -- not only for our event, but for the sport as a whole."

The Gold Coast event is heading into its 18th year on October 23-26 and had become the crown jewel of the Champ Car World Series.

The Champ Car World Series has shared equal billing with Australia's V8 Supercar Series for the past six years on the streets of the Gold Coast and the two have combined to provide one of the world's great on-track programs.

-credit: www.indy.com.au

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Series IndyCar