Three races at Gold Coast event announced

THREE 100KM RACES HIGHLIGHT GILLETTE V8 SUPERCAR CHALLENGE Three action-packed 100km races will highlight the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at the Lexmark Indy 300 next week from October 19 to 22 on the Gold Coast. All V8 Supercar teams and...

THREE 100KM RACES HIGHLIGHT GILLETTE V8 SUPERCAR CHALLENGE

Three action-packed 100km races will highlight the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at the Lexmark Indy 300 next week from October 19 to 22 on the Gold Coast.

All V8 Supercar teams and drivers have been preparing for the return to 100km racing after contesting the 1000km 'enduro' Super Cheap Auto 1000 in Bathurst last Sunday.

Today the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge was launched in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane with drivers from the first four cars at Bathurst revving up the crowd.

Jamie Whincup (Team Betta Electrical), Todd Kelly (Holden Racing Team), James Courtney (Stone Brothers Racing / Jeld-Wen) and Russell Ingall (Stone Brothers Racing / Caltex) finished in that order in Bathurst with their respective co-drivers, and were on hand to talk up their chances of success on the 4.47km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

With the overall V8 Supercar Championship Series up for grabs, this year's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will prove to be a decisive round for those in the hunt for the championship title.

Craig Lowndes will enter the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge next week as a favourite to take home the prestigious 'surfboard' trophy -- he is the defending race winner, currently leads the championship and is coming off victory in the Super Cheap Auto 1000 with Whincup.

At Bathurst, Ford star Lowndes finished ahead of Holden young gun Rick Kelly, Todd's brother, by less than a second. This result is mirrored in the championship where Kelly is Lowndes nearest competitor -- 101 points in arrears.

Also pushing hard at the pointy end of the championship are rising Ford drivers Mark Winterbottom (Ford Performance Racing) and Whincup, the former sitting in third place while the latter has two race wins to his name in 2006 (Clipsal 500 and Super Cheap Auto 1000).

Their youthful exuberance is matched by the experience of defending series champion Ingall and Holden's Garth Tander (Toll HSV Dealer Team) -- both of whom know that a stellar result in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge is required to keep them in the championship hunt.

At the Lexmark Indy 300, the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge headlines the action alongside the Champ Car World Series.

This year the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will be Round 10 of the 13-round V8 Supercar Championship Series, and the fifth successive year that there has been a championship round on the streets of the Gold Coast.

One of the most sought-after trophies on the V8 Supercar calendar is the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge 'surfboard' trophy presented to the top three drivers on the podium after the three races.

Craig Lowndes was the victor last year, while winner's 'surfboard' trophies have also gone to Greg Murphy (2004), Russell Ingall (2003) and Jason Bargwanna (2002).

This year three V8 Supercar races over 100km will captivate fans in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge with the Top 10 Shootout and Race One on Saturday and the final two races on Sunday. Practice and Qualifying will be staged on Friday.

The 31 cars on the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge grid will clock speeds of more than 260km per hour around the tight 4.47km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

Mark Skaife holds the qualifying lap record of 1 minute 50.3768 seconds set in 2004 while Ingall set the fastest race lap last year clocking 1:51.6246.

The tussle between Holden Commodore V8s and Ford Falcon V8s in high speed and highly skilled racing action has made V8 Supercar racing Australia's favourite motor racing formula. It is a 13-round series based in Australia but with single rounds also held in New Zealand and Bahrain.

The cars have a 5L fuel injected V8 engine which produce 620 horsepower at up to 7500 rpm. With a minimum weight of 1355kg, these V8 machines can go from 0 to 100 km per hour in four seconds and have a top speed of 300km per hour.

The Lexmark Indy 300 is one of the most popular crowd-pulling events on the V8 Supercar circuit. The 2005 event attracted 316,459 people over the four days, the highest attendance in the 15-years of the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.

Tickets are on sale through Ticketek on phone 1300 303 103, via the event website at www.indy.com.au or at any Ticketek agency.

-credit: www.indy.com.au

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom