Surfers Paradise: Pre-race news 2009-10-21

SAND AND RUBBER FLY AHEAD OF NIKON SUPERGP Gold Coast Titans captain Mat Rogers and team-mate Jordan Atkins proved victorious off the field today, taking victory in the V8 Superschool Gold Coast Athletes Challenge in the lead up to this week's...

SAND AND RUBBER FLY AHEAD OF NIKON SUPERGP

Gold Coast Titans captain Mat Rogers and team-mate Jordan Atkins proved victorious off the field today, taking victory in the V8 Superschool Gold Coast Athletes Challenge in the lead up to this week's Nikon SuperGP.

As part of the pre-event activities for the October 22-25 event, V8 Supercar driver for Ford Performance Racing Steve Richards took a group of Gold Coast athletes under his wing at the V8 Superschool and let them loose on the specialised driver training circuit, while in Surfers Paradise the annual Beach Volleyball challenge between drivers and TW Steel Miss SuperGP finalists was underway.

Having to recover from a spin by Atkins in their heat race, Rogers showed some impressive speed behind the wheel of the Orrcon Steel V8 Falcon to take a narrow victory over the Gold Coast Football pairing of Jesse Haberfield and Alik Magin to secure a berth in the final against the Gold Coast Blaze pairing of Anthony Olah and Ryan Jeffries, who defeated the team led by Coolangatta Gold winner Caine Eckstein in their heat race.

Atkins got the jump at the start of the final before handing the driving duties over to Rogers who went on to claim the win and the bragging rights.

"It was awesome day, there is nothing like being let loose in a V8," said Rogers.

"The competitive side was really brought out in all of us here today and to win for the Titans against some great athletes from different parts of the Gold Coast makes the day even sweeter.

"While he did have a spin, Jordan Atkins was again a great team-mate and we have both had a fantastic time.

"One of the major things today highlighted for me was how physical these cars are to drive. While the V8 guys might not get the physical hits like we do I was 'blowing' after only four laps, I can't imagine what it is like to one hundred laps. It certainly knocks you around."

Richards was impressed by the approach taken by the group of athletes that had assembled for the challenge.

"As an elite athlete you've got a distinct competitive streak in you and this is something that certainly came out with the bunch of guys we had here today," said Richards.

"All of the athletes really showed a great approach towards the day and their driving as they built up to the final. I think Mat was very determined to win today, right from the outset he was laying down the challenge to his opposition and he certainly lived up to his words with some impressive driving."

While these athletes were running around the track, a group of V8 Supercar drivers were taking on the TW Steel Miss SuperGP finalists in an intense game of beach volleyball.

Jamie Whincup, Michael Caruso, James Courtney, Paul Dumbrell, Will Davison, David Reynolds, Garth Tander, Tony D'Alberto and Lee Holdsworth dodged, jumped and slid their way around Surfers Paradise Beach as they tried to outplay the bevy of beauties, who were watched with a careful eye by reigning TW Steel Miss SuperGP Mareika van den Bergh, who will hand over her title tomorrow night.

-credit: supergp.com

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Will Davison , Jamie Whincup , Paul Dumbrell , Michael Caruso , Lee Holdsworth , Tony D'Alberto , Steve Richards , David Reynolds