AUSTRALIAN LEGENDS ON GOLD COAST STREETS THE show must go on -- and what a hell of a show it will be! Not content on letting an A1GP-no show spoil the party at next week's Nikon SuperGP on the Gold Coast, Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil ...
AUSTRALIAN LEGENDS ON GOLD COAST STREETS
THE show must go on -- and what a hell of a show it will be!
Not content on letting an A1GP-no show spoil the party at next week's Nikon SuperGP on the Gold Coast, Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, has headed a task force to create what will be an amazing celebration of Australian motorsport.
Some of Australia's motorsport greats and the owners of some of Australia's most prized motoring possessions have agreed to come together to mark the next phase of one of the world's most spectacular motorsport festivals.
Some of the great names will include Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett, John French, Glenn Seton and Colin Bond and more will be announced in the coming days.
They will thrill the crowd at close to race speeds in machines that have been a part of Australian motorsport folklore for generations -- loud, fast and sideways!
They will be driving a host of former championship and Bathurst-winning cars including Allan Moffat's famous Coca-Cola Mustang, Norm Beechey's Monaro, Ian "Pete" Geoghegan's Super Falcon, Bartlett's famous Channel 9 Camaro, Peter Brock's A9X Torana, Iim Richard's JPS 635 BMW, Glenn and Bo Seton's Ford Capri and Johnson's Tru Blue Falcon XD -- all valued well in excess of $1 million each.
Johnson will be joined by his son Steve, who will also be competing in the four 150km V8 Supercar events on the streets of the Gold Coast, and will get the chance to have a drive of a couple of the cars that made his dad a household name in Australia.
On top of the new Muscle Car line-up, the event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first of Sir Jack Brabham's three Formula 1 world titles.
Brabham, his Le Mans-winning son Geoff and talented grandson Matthew, who are the number 1-2-3 ticket holders for the event, will join the group of legend drivers for special Saturday and Sunday afternoon parade laps.
A couple of Sir Jack's open-wheel racers will cut a few laps and Matthew will be involved in a special re-enactment of his grandfathers inaugural 1959 championship victory in which he pushed his car over the line at Sebring in Florida to clinch the title.
The group of legendary touring cars and drivers will be on constant display in a free public pit area and there will be at least two autograph sessions during the weekend.
The entire group will share stories and swap tales during the gala ball at Conrad Jupiters on Friday night.
"We need to put the A1GP situation behind us, re-group and put on the best show possible for the fans and television viewers," said Minister Reeves.
"In a very short period of time we have managed to secure some of the greatest names and cars in Australian motorsport history to compete on the streets of the Gold Coast next weekend.
"With some of these legendary cars and the magical V8 Supercars we have an amazing celebration of Australian motorsport.
"To have names like Johnson, Bartlett, Seton and Bond sitting in pit lane beside modern day heroes like Whincup, Tander, Lowndes and Ingall is going to be fantastic and more than a suitable replacement for the former category.
"When you add the tribute to Sir Jack and the involvement of the Brabham family you have something pretty special."
Queensland motorsport legend Dick Johnson, said the "party must go on" and he could not think of a better way to add to his "home" event. Johnson and his V8 Supercar driving son, Steve, have also been named joint grand marshals as part of today's announcement.
"It is un-Australian to sit back and bitch and moan, we need to get on with it," said Johnson.
"I think the Minister and his group needs to be congratulated for acting so fast to pull this fantastic group together after A1GP left the event in a very difficult situation.
"So many fans will have only seen pictures of some of these cars. For them to be able to see them in action and get up close to them will be something special and I cannot wait to get out there and have a blast around."
The program has been put in place with the help of well-known Queensland-based car collector David Bowden and his sons Dan and Chris from Bowden's own Car Care products, who will supply 10 of the proposed 12-car field.
"The Muscle Car era of Australian motorsport is something that runs deep with every Australian motorsport fan and we are delighted that the crowd on the Gold Coast will have the opportunity to get up close to some of these cars," said David Bowden.
"As a Queensland family we are delighted to be in a position where we can work with the Minister and the event organisers to pull this together at short notice.
"They say everything is meant for a reason and hopefully this is the beginning of something special at the Gold Coast."
Nikon SuperGP General Manager, Greg Hooton, said the newly announced four 150km V8 Supercar race format and the injection of the Australian Legends category would see the Gold Coast event keep its status as one of the world's great celebrations of motorsport.
"To have four 150km V8 Supercar events over two days and some of Australia's most famous cars out on track is going to give the fans the best of both worlds,' said Hooton.
"When you mix that with all our other on-track and off-track entertainment it all adds up to one of the best weekends of racing and entertainment in the country.
"We want the fans to be happy and we believe the Australian Legends category will be a great addition to our schedule after the A1GP no-show."
The Australian Legends category will be on track all four days of the event and will be a unique addition to the program, which is headed by event 11 of the V8 Supercar Series and also includes the Australian Mini Challenge, the Australian Formula Ford Championship and Aussie Race Cars.
Meanwhile, earlier today Alex Davison, pilot of the Irwin Tools Stone Brothers Racing Falcon took some time out of his pre-event schedule to make a relaxing visit to pit lane.
Courtesy of the Gold Coast's Ripple Massage, Davison enjoyed a mobile massage in the middle of the Nikon SuperGP pit lane, taking in the sights of construction and the new V8 Supercar pit building while having his tensions eased by massage therapist Melanie.
"I am really looking forward to next weekend, I think it is a great concept and its exciting to be here in pit lane today and see how things are going ready for the start in a few days time," said Davison.
"As for the massage, its pretty good -- although I think it would be a lot more relaxing somewhere other than in the middle of all the construction of the pit lane, but what a way to prepare for the big week ahead!"
Ripple Massage and Beauty is the 'day spa that comes to you' offers mobile therapists that visit clients at home or at their hotels, from Brisbane to the Gold and Sunshine Coats, Mount Tamborine, Byron Bay and even Victoria. For more information, visit www.ripplemassage.com.au