Buddy Rice and Townsend Bell have arrived in Australia and kept busy with activities on and off the track

SURFERS PARADISE, Australia -- Buddy Rice and Townsend Bell, along with the EMU Australia crews of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, have arrived in full force in Surfers Paradise for this weekend's exhibition race on the city streets, the Nikon Indy 300.

This is the first IndyCar Series race in Australia, though the event is no stranger to fans of open-wheel racing as CART/Champ Car had held races in Surfers Paradise since 1991.

The week began early for Bell who flew in a day before the main group of passengers left the U.S. He participated in two days of media activities, including making a visit alongside team co-owner Robbie Buhl on behalf of Racing for Kids at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Later that evening, teammate Rice participated with AJ Foyt IV, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Alex Tagliani, among others, in a media poker tournament at the Conrad Jupiters Casino.

Also at the casino, on Thursday morning, Rice and Bell took part in the event's traditional driver's breakfast with the other 22 IndyCar Series drivers. While seated on stage, the event allowed the participants to field questions from both the media and fans in attendance. As a gift, each driver was presented with an authentic Aboriginal Didgeridoo.

Meanwhile, the mechanics and crew of the Dreyer & Reinbold team used their limited free time away from the track to check out the beach, shops, and restaurants of Surfers Paradise. The team quickly learned the hot spots and prime locations for scenery that members of the league's transitional teams became familiar with over the last several years.

The media activities concluded on Thursday afternoon when the EMU Australia crews and drivers took part in a photo shoot in the garage area. Both cars were on display with the crew and drivers sporting their new EMU boots. The event brought much awareness among the locals of their "home team" to support.

On Friday, Rice and Bell took their Emu Australia Honda machines onto the streets for the first two official practice sessions. As this will be their first time racing in this event, Rice and Bell used the sessions to acclimate themselves to the racing circuit.

At 9:50 on Saturday morning, Rice and Bell will have one more practice session before qualifying later in the day at 1:10 p.m. These sessions can be seen live via streaming video on indycar.com.

The race itself begins at 12:40 p.m. on Sunday. All times for sessions noted are listed in local time (GMT +10:00). Live coverage of the event in the U.S. can be seen on ESPN Classic on October 25th at 10:30 p.m. ET.


No.15 EMU AUSTRALIA/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara Driver Buddy Rice

"It's great down here in Australia. It's nice to see a different part of the world. It's very beautiful down here. It reminds me a bit of California back in the 70s. The track is fantastic. It's really narrow, but we'll see how it all plays out. I'm looking forward to carrying the colors of Emu Australia on our car this weekend, and hopefully we can have a good result."

No.23 EMU AUSTRALIA/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara Driver Townsend Bell

"It feels great to be here in Surfers Paradise. I've been here before but have never had the chance to race. It's a great place with great people. I can't wait. It's nice that myself and Buddy will be rocking the local colors here on our Emu Australia cars. They're a great partner, and it's just going to be exciting to have a local flavor to our race weekend."

-credit: drr