CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Racing Gold Coast preview

What: Honda Indy 300 - Round 20 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series When: Sunday, October 28. Broadcast: 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN (tape delay). Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race...

What: Honda Indy 300 - Round 20 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series

When: Sunday, October 28. Broadcast: 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN (tape delay). Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on Practice - Friday, October 26.

Where: 2.795-mile temporary street Circuit, Gold Coast, Queensland Australia

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

* Mauricio Gugelmin has scored championship points in five of seven career starts in Australia, topped by finishes of fourth in 1995 and '96. He also finished sixth in 1994, 12th in '98 and 10th last year.

* This season, Gugelmin has tallied four top-ten finishes, all of which have come since Round Six of the FedEx Championship Series. He earned his fourth career pole in Cleveland this season and finished a season-best seventh in Toronto.

* Gugelmin raced Formula One for five years, 1988-1992, for March-Judd, Leyton House-Judd, and Jordan-Yamaha Formula One teams. Gugelmin's top finishes in Formula One competition included a third place podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1989 with March-Judd and four other top-ten finishes in his five-year F1 career.

* Gugelmin, one of CART's most experienced drivers, is in his ninth year of FedEx Championship Series competition, and eighth full season.

* Mauricio is currently in his second year as President of the Championship Drivers Association.

Mauricio Gugelmin Quote

"Who doesn't like racing in Surfer's Paradise? The stands are always packed with fans, and that just fuels the drivers and our teams. We've had a lot of bad luck the last two races so I would love to finally get some more points after this drought. I'm well rested and ready to go. Hopefully the rain will stay away, unlike it did last year, so we can really have a go at a top qualifying position. You absolutely have to qualify well here because passing is so difficult. Aside from Adrian last year, I don't think anyone had ever won this race from further back than seventh or eighth place. I think I have a pretty good handle on the circuit and my results have been reasonable there with four points paying finishes in the last six years (including two top-five results). We'll see. Our luck is bound to change, so why not force it to change this weekend."

Scott Dixon Fast Facts
#18 Nextel Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota

* Scott Dixon enters the Honda Indy 300 in seventh place in the Driver's Championship with 98 points - just 2 points away from sixth and 7 points away from 5th.

* The New Zealand rookie is currently leading the standings for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award, holding a 42-point lead over his nearest rival. With only 2 races remaining, Scott can lock up the Rookie of the Year title with a ninth-place finish at Surfers Paradise, regardless of Junqueira's finish in the last two races.

* Dixon has completed 2241 of the 2352 laps run this season, the series leader in that category.

* Scott has one victory, six top-fives, and ten top-tens at this point of his rookie campaign. He has also scored championship points in seven of his past ten starts.

* This will be Dixon's first competitive visit to Australia in a CHAMP car. In 2000, Dixon won the Dayton Indy Lights Championship with six wins, seven podiums and one pole for PacWest.

* Dixon is the youngest-ever winner of a Champ Car race, scoring a victory earlier this season in Nazareth at the age of 20 years, nine months.

* Dixon equaled a season best established at Road America with his third-place qualifying effort in Laguna Seca. He has qualified seventh or better for five of his past six FedEx Championship Series starts, after qualifying among the top seven only once in the season's first 13 events.

Scott Dixon Quote

"What can I say about driving again back in Australia? It's going to be a great event that I've been looking forward to all season. I know from speaking to my family that I'll have a lot of relatives and old friends attending the race, so putting on a good show for them is important to me. But most important is putting in a solid performance for my team. We can possibly clinch the Rookie of the Year award in Surfer's, and although we can't win the overall championship, finishing strong will lay some groundwork for next season. It's important to finish the season on a high note and with two races remaining, we have a chance to showcase our team on a street course and superspeedway. I'm anticipating a pretty busy weekend. I'm going to spend some time in New Zealand prior to flying to Oz and I know there will be a lot of media attention focused on me since I was born in the area. The atmosphere in Surfer's Paradise is unbelievable and I know it's one of the most popular stops on the season for the teams. The last time I raced competitively there was in 1998 with Formula Holden. So yes, I'm definitely ready to get back home."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin