CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHAT: Lexmark Indy 300 WHERE: Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia WHEN: Friday -- Sunday, October 21-23 SUPPORT EVENTS: V8 Supercars, Aussie Racing Cars, V8 Utes EVENT SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, OCTOBER ...

WHAT: Lexmark Indy 300

WHERE: Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

WHEN: Friday -- Sunday, October 21-23

SUPPORT EVENTS: V8 Supercars, Aussie Racing Cars, V8 Utes

EVENT SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
Champ Car practice, 10:00 -- 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 -- 2:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
Champ Car practice, 10:15 -- 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 -- 2:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
Champ Car warmup, 9:15 -- 9:45 a.m.
LEXMARK INDY 300, 1:15 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 -- SPEED Channel, Lexmark Indy 300, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

2004 CHAMPION:  Bruno Junqueira

2004 POLESITTER: Paul Tracy
TRACK LAYOUT:  2.795-mile street course

RACE LENGTH: 57 laps (159.315 miles)

TRACK RECORDS:
Qualifying (one lap) -- 2002, Cristiano da Matta, 111.547 mph (1:30.936 seconds).
Race -- 2001, Cristiano da Matta, 97.511 mph (1:51:47.260), based on 65 laps (181.675 miles).

RACE ROUND: 12 of 13 in the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS: 1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas Racing, 310; 2, Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas Racing, 243; 3, Paul Tracy, Forsythe Championship Racing, 216; 4, Justin Wilson, RuSPORT, 214; 5, Mario Dominguez, Forsythe Championship Racing, 186.

NEXT EVENT: November 6, Gran Premio Tecate-Telmex Presented by Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico.

WHO'S HOT

Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) found lady luck under the lights of Las Vegas to record his fifth win of the 2005 season. The result was his 10th top-five finish in the year's 11 races and gave him a 67-point lead in the standings. The Frenchman has yet to record a victory in Surfers Paradise, but has started in the front row in each of his two starts.

Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) crossed the Las Vegas finish line in the second spot to record his sixth podium finish in 2005. Going to Surfers Paradise the Spaniard has two top-ten starts and one top-ten finish in five starts in Australia.

In Las Vegas Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) fought off a pack of hard-charging cars to finish in the third position. In Australia, Vasser has ten top-ten starts, has led a total of 69 laps, and five top-six finishes to his credit. He also has a single victory on the Gold Coast in 1996 when he won from the pole.

Mario Dominguez (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has finished outside of the top-five once in his last five starts and recorded his first podium finish of the season in Denver. On the Gold Coast Dominguez has recorded two-top ten starts and two-top ten finishes in three starts. During his rookie year at this event Dominguez led four laps and recorded his first career victory.

In Las Vegas Rodolfo Lavin (#55 HVM Inc. /Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had a weekend full of ups and downs, but persevered to bring HVM Racing another strong finish. After recording a seventh place starting spot, he ended up putting his car in the wall during the final practice session. In a back-up car under the lights the Mexican fought tooth and nail to bring home his second top-five finish of the season. In two starts in Surfers Paradise Lavin has recorded one top-ten finish.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Cristiano da Matta (#21 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is the 2001 champion of the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise. Currently he holds the Gold Coast lap record of one minute 30.204 seconds set in qualifying in 2002, and also holds the fastest race time at the event of one hour 51 minutes 47.260 seconds set in 2001.

In 1995 Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) celebrated on the Gold Coast as he took the checkered flag for his first and only victory in Australia. When it comes to qualifying down under Tracy knows the best line. He has never qualified lower than ninth in twelve appearances in Surfers Paradise, and has started fourth or better in each of the last nine events -- a list that includes a polewinning run last season.

In Las Vegas, Marcus Marshall (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) recorded his best qualifying position when he started tenth for the Champ Car Hurricane 400. He went on to record his second top-ten finish this season.

DID YOU KNOW

Located 83 km from Brisbane, Surfers Paradise is an icon of the Gold Coast. It is the town and beach which symbolizes the lifestyle and the aspirations of the people who come to the area. The aboriginals who populated the area and used to call Surfers Paradise Krurungul, for the large amount of the perfect trees used to make boomerangs. In the 1770s Captain Cook passed by the Gold Coast and named parts Point Danger and Mount Warning. A government surveyor named Dixon charted the Gold Coast region in 1840. He named many of the landmarks after senior naval officers as was the custom at the time. Since then the Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell changed many of the names to back to the Aboriginal names. Eventually, timber cutters settled the area and took over the land which held a great amount of cedars and pines. After the rush for the timber ebbed, it was a certain Mr. Meyer who built the first hotel, which then became a resort. At this point the area became Meyer's Ferry. In 1933 locals, encouraged by the success of the hotel, petitioned to have the areas name changed to something which evoked undiluted pleasure. Thus it was named "Surfer's Paradise" after the young people who came there to enjoy the beaches and of course surf. In 1991 the Lexmark Indy 300 became the first overseas race for Champ Cars since 1978 when USAC staged two events in the United Kingdom.

NOTEWORTHY

There have been 14 different winners of the Lexmark Indy 300 in its 14-year history marking the longest such streak by a track in Champ Car history. There are four past race winners (Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Cristiano da Matta and Mario Dominguez) in the field this year.

Only three drivers have claimed pole position more than once for the Champ Car race over the 14 years. Nigel Mansell (1993 and 94), Michael Andretti (1991 and 95) and Dario Franchitti (1998 and 99) have started from pole twice. In this years event there are three drivers (Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, and Cristiano da Matta) that can equal that mark.

Three Australian drivers have driven a Champ Car on the Gold Coast since 1991 -- Gary Brabham (1992 and 93); Jason Bright (2000); and David Besnard (2004). Besnard's seventh placing has been the highest by an Australian.

BY THE NUMBERS

309,583 -- The number of people that attended the 2004 Lexmark Indy 300 over a four day period. 10,600- Number of hamburgers consumed at the 2004 Lexmark Indy 300. 1500 - Volunteers give up time to participate in various aspects of the Lexmark Indy 300. 150 -- Countries in which Lexmark is a global technology leader dedicated solely to printing solutions. 96 -- The number of days on average it takes to set up the race course. 18 -- In nine out of the fourteen races ran in Australia the leader has led 18 or less laps. 19 -- The most number of laps run at Surfers Paradise without a starter falling out of the race. This mark was set in 2004 when Alex Tagliani fell out because of contact on lap 19. - Categories of Grandstands at the Lexmark Indy 300: Platinum Club, Gold Stands, Silver Stands, Bronze Stands, and also Flexi Stands for General Admission ticket holders.

-ccws-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Oriol Servia , Nigel Mansell , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , Rodolfo Lavin , Jason Bright , Marcus Marshall , Gary Brabham , Cristiano da Matta
Teams HVM Racing