Surfers Paradise: Pre-race news 2009-10-20

ARMY ANTICS, SKYDIVING AND OFF ROAD RACING ALL IN DAYS WORK FOR V8 SUPERCAR DRIVERS V8 Supercar drivers Craig Lowndes, Michael Patrizi and Dean Fiore have experienced high-powered adrenalin of three different kinds today, as they prepare for ...

ARMY ANTICS, SKYDIVING AND OFF ROAD RACING ALL IN DAYS WORK FOR V8 SUPERCAR DRIVERS

V8 Supercar drivers Craig Lowndes, Michael Patrizi and Dean Fiore have experienced high-powered adrenalin of three different kinds today, as they prepare for their Nikon SuperGP campaign, which kicks off later this week.

The V8 Supercar race cars will start rolling in to the Nikon SuperGP Pit Lane tomorrow morning (Wednesday) ready for the October 22-25 event, but first these three drivers had some unusual preparation to do.

Courtesy of the Australian Defence Force, Gold Coast Skydiving and Off Road Rush, Lowndes, Patrizi and Fiore tried their hands at driving armoured vehicles and shooting practice, skydiving onto Kirra Beach and getting airborne in V8 buggies respectively.

Lowndes felt right at home at the Enoggera Army Barracks, and even managed to catch up with some old friends.

"This whole morning has just been phenomenal," grinned Lowndes.

"I've even managed to meet up with four of the guys that I met in Iraq when V8 Supercars visited the troops over there two years ago -- so that was pretty incredible.

"The ASLAV's are just cool and it was great to have a go at the weapons simulator as well, something really different and just a amazing thing to have the chance to do."

The officers attending today's media call were just as happy as Lowndes to have him there, with Commanding Officer 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) (2/14 LHR (QMI)), Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Chris Mills explaining that the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) the TeamVodafone driver had the chance to ride in today will be one of the vehicles on display at the ADF stand during this weekend's Gold Coast Nikon SuperGP event.

"The display includes a range of ADF equipment and our personnel will be there to provide advice and information on career opportunities in the ADF," said LtCol Mills.

"We have had a strong relationship with the Gold Coast motorsport event over the years and we look forward to it continuing. Next year is of particular note with 2/14 LHR (QMI) celebrating its 150th birthday."

While Lowndes wrapped up things with the Defence Force, Patrizi was leaving the safety of a perfectly good aircraft strapped to his skydiving instructor, complete with his special Wilson Security Racing, McGrath Foundation, race suit.

"It was such a surreal feeling falling out the sky," said Patrizi.

"It is something that I've now done and ticked it off the box but was certainly an experience that I won't forget.

"If you ever want to have a jolt in your heart, then go sky diving. When you are first falling at 13,5000 feet your heart definitely skips a beat or two, then when you pull the shoot it jumps again, no matter how many amusements rides you go on nothing compares to what I did today.

"Overall, it was a great experience to be involved in.

"I'm excited about the great weekend of racing ahead, the V8 Supercars are definitely going to be putting on a great show on for the fans. After a couple of disappointing races at Phillip Island and Bathurst the entire Wilson Security Racing team is looking forward to the #333 Rollasole Falcon getting back on track this weekend."

While Patrizi got used to being back on the ground, Triple F Racing's Fiore was concentrating on getting the wheels of his 4WD Off Road Buggy airborne as he tackled the course at Yatala's Off Road Rush.

"That was totally different to a V8 Supercar but certainly awesome," said Fiore.

"As a racer your very rarely get told how to drive. So it was very much like having the shoe on the other foot as Chris Western instructed me on how to really make the off-road truck work.

"I did a 182km bike ride last Sunday and now I'm wishing I had not done it with the extra work I'm in for this weekend at the V8s.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of this weekend and for us it's so important to finish each of the 150km races as I continually learn how to get the most out of a V8 Supercar.

"Now with the new format for the V8s at Surfers Paradise everybody has had to take a step back and really think about the best way to approach the weekend's racing.

"I think that for the fans it's going to be awesome. There is little doubt of the popularity of V8 Supercars and fans are going to see an even greater show this weekend."

-credit: sgp

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Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Michael Patrizi , Dean Fiore , Phillip Island