V8 SUPERCARS & CHAMP CARS IN "DOUBLE HEADER" AT HONDA INDY 300 Fans will be treated to the biggest weekend of Australian motorsport when rounds of both the FedEx Championship Series and the V8 Supercar Championship Series are contested in a ...
V8 SUPERCARS & CHAMP CARS IN "DOUBLE HEADER" AT HONDA INDY 300
Fans will be treated to the biggest weekend of Australian motorsport when rounds of both the FedEx Championship Series and the V8 Supercar Championship Series are contested in a massive "Double Header" at the Honda Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise in a world first from October 24-27.
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie was flanked by some of the country's leading V8 Supercar stars on the steps of Parliament House in Brisbane today as he officially unveiled the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge which will double as round 11 of a now 13-round V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The new event will offer a maximum of 200 championship points in what is expected to be the most competitive V8 Supercar Championship ever.
The 600-horsepower Fords and Holdens will practice and qualify on the Friday of race weekend while a top-10 shootout and two 100km races for championship points will be run on Saturday and Sunday.
The Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge compliments the 18th and penultimate round of the FedEx Championship Series, which will include such stars at Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon, according to Honda Indy 300 Chairman, John Cowley.
"I guess this is the ultimate win-win situation," said Cowley.
"Both our organisation and AVESCO realise the enormous benefits of the V8 Supercars returning to the streets of Surfers Paradise.
"The V8 Supercars have been an important part of our program for several years and the fact that they are returning to contest a round of the championship takes the show to a whole new level.
"We are going to be offering one of the best four days of racing value ever seen with fans witnessing the penultimate round of the FedEx Championship Series and round 11 of the V8 Supercar Series it doesn't get much bigger than that."
The Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will come two weeks after the V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst on October 10-13. Points in the Surfers Paradise street race will be vital to the overall V8 Supercar Championship Series, which will conclude with rounds in New Zealand on November 10 and Melbourne on December 1.
The event will include Australia's leading teams and drivers including Mark Skaife, Jason Bright, Glenn Seton, John Bowe, Garth Tander, Greg Murphy, Brad Jones, Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall.
The field will also include a massive group of Queensland-based stars including Craig Lowndes, Steve Johnson, Paul Radisich, Paul Morris, Marcos Ambrose, David Besnard, Tony Longhurst, Mark Larkham, Steve Ellery, Cameron McLean, Paul Weel and Paul Romano.
AVESCO Chairman Tony Cochrane believes the streets of Surfers Paradise will make a fantastic addition to the V8 Supercar Championship Series calendar.
"We are pleased that we have been able to enter into a brand new arrangement with the Honda Indy 300 board which provides the V8 Supercars and Champ Cars equal billing," said Cochrane.
"We have always considered the event at Surfers Paradise would be a fantastic location to contest a Championship round and after months of negotiations we are delighted with this outcome, especially for our fans.
"Logistically it was one of the most difficult decisions to make, but we are confident that the professional level of all our teams will enable this addition to our championship calendar to be a great success."
The Gillette Company is the world-leader in male grooming products utilising superior performance and technology to be a market leader in every category in which it competes.
Gillette has been a corporate supporter of the Honda Indy 300 for several years and laid a foundation for today's announcement with naming-rights sponsorship of last year's Gillette Young Guns support event.
Business Manager Gillette Australia, Mike Abbott, says the sponsorship of the V8 Supercar Challenge was a natural progression for his company.
"The Honda Indy 300 has gone from strength to strength in recent years and Gillette has been delighted to increase our own commitment on an on-going basis," said Abbott.
"We were extremely happy with our sponsorship of the Young Guns program last year and believe the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will be an exciting and unique event.
"Gillette has a strong sporting heritage and we see motor sport as an integral part of our marketing mix.
"We like to associate our world class brands with world class sporting events."
Radisich, who has been a previous winner on the Gold Coast with Dick Johnson's Shell Helix Ford team, says the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will be one of the highlights on the racing calendar.
"Indy has always been an enjoyable event, but this time I guess you could say it is for real," said Radisich.
"It would have been nice to have collected championship points when I won there a couple of years ago.
"There is no doubt that the Surfers Paradise races are being held at a vital stage of the season and that fans are going to see a much more serious show and an even more entertaining one."
The official opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 15-17.