PREMIER BEATTIE CONGRATULATES CRAIG GORE AND TEAM OZ Queensland Premier Mr Peter Beattie has congratulated Team Australia owner Craig Gore on his team's Champ Car Atlantic Series victory at the weekend and his naming as "Team Owner" of the ...
PREMIER BEATTIE CONGRATULATES CRAIG GORE AND TEAM OZ
Queensland Premier Mr Peter Beattie has congratulated Team Australia owner Craig Gore on his team's Champ Car Atlantic Series victory at the weekend and his naming as "Team Owner" of the year.
Team Australia not only claimed the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship with driver Simon Pagenaud on Monday morning (AEST), Gore and Indianapolis-based co-owner Derrick Walker have also been awarded the Team Owner of the Year award at the Champ Car Atlantic Gala Awards Ball.
Other accolades for the Aussie Vineyards-backed Atlantic team were the Chief Mechanic of the Year award to Team Australia's Ryan Negron and Atlantic Rookie of the Year to Pagenaud, as well as the Championship crown and the $US2million champion's prize.
The results have provided fantastic momentum for Team Australia which will field two cars in next month's Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast for Toowoomba's Will Power and "adopted" Australian Alex Tagliani, who is married to former Miss Indy runner-up Bronte Kok.
"Team Australia really is something that Queensland and Australia as a whole can be proud of," said Mr Beattie.
"To win the Champ Car Atlantic championship in their first year is a fantastic performance, but for Craig to be named Team Owner of the Year along with Derrick is a real compliment in his first season in the category.
"Craig and his Team Australia squad must be congratulated on their commitment to motorsport on so many levels.
"All we need now is for Team Australia to win the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast next month and there is every chance they could do just that.
"Everything points to this year's Indy being the biggest motorsport event ever seen in Australia and we believe everyone will want to be a part of it.
"With Team Australia to cheer for in the Champ Car race, three V8 Supercar championship races and a host of other on and off-track entertainment, there is little doubt that the Lexmark Indy 300 offers one of the most spectacular shows in world sport.
"I suggest people get in and get their tickets as soon as possible and get out their green and gold."
Gore was obviously thrilled with his team's championship as well as his personal Champ Car award.
"To win the championship in our first year was a fantastic thrill, but for Derrick and I to be awarded the "Team Owner of the Year" trophy is a fantastic honour," said Gore.
"I think we have a terrific team of dedicated people who not only care about winning, but also about the Team Australia program which is all about developing business relationships between companies in Australia and the US.
"I think all this provides a strong foundation on which we can build for next month's Lexmark Indy 300. It is going to be one of the biggest events in Australian sporting history and we encourage everyone to be a part of it."
Gore and Walker founded Team Australia in 2005 with two cars in the Champ Car World Series.
In 2006 the operation was extended to include two cars in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and also sponsorship of two-time V8 Supercar Champion Marcos Ambrose's entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Gore is also heavily involved in Australian motorsport with his WPS Racing V8 Supercar team as well as naming-rights sponsorship of the WPS Carrera Cup Championship and WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival and major sponsorship of the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast.
Pagenaud was awarded $US2million for winning the Atlantic Championship with Team Australia, those funds to be used to gain a drive in the 2007 Champ Car World Series.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship is the feeder series to the Champ Car World Series and races on most of the same circuits. Many teams, including Team Australia, run teams in both series as a way of bringing on new drivers and also training new engineering and mechanical staff.