AUSF3: Australia Indy 300 notes 2008-10-24

LOCALS DOMINATE ON DAY TWO OF NIKON INDY 300 Local drivers have continued to rule on day two of the Nikon Indy 300, with Queensland's Will Power and Jamie Whincup topping the fields in the IndyCar Series and V8 Supercars ...


Local drivers have continued to rule on day two of the Nikon Indy 300, with Queensland's Will Power and Jamie Whincup topping the fields in the IndyCar Series and V8 Supercars respectively.

Toowoomba's Power showed the rest of his open-wheel counterparts exactly how it should be done as the international visitors took to the track for the first time this week for two practice sessions.

While half of the 24 strong field have previously competed on the Streets of Surfers Paradise (including three Gold Coast race winners -- Dario Franchitti, 1999; Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2003 and Bruno Junqueira, 2004), Power was untouchable, lapping at an average speed of 106.130 mph (1m 34.8084s) compared to the next fastest Helio Castroneves at 104.637mph (1m 36.1609s).

Setting the fastest statistics straight out of gate today, Power is certainly looking strong ahead of tomorrow's qualifying, which will take place from 1.10pm after a morning practice session.

One person who doesn't have to worry about putting their car on the pole starting position tomorrow is Whincup in the Coffee Club V8 Supercar Challenge. The current championship leader held off last year's Gold Coast winner and reigning Series champion Garth Tander and Paul Dumbrell to take the top spot.

Whincup's result sees him as the first Ford driver to claim pole on the Streets of Surfers Paradise since 1999 and with the best starting position possible for tomorrow's opening 120 kilometre stanza.

When the headline acts weren't on-track, the support categories certainly kept the track busy North Queenslander John Martin in Formula 3 continuing the charge for the local brigade of drivers on-track this weekend.

Martin took his second race victory for the weekend by beating race one runner-up James Winslow across the line while setting a new track lap record with a lap of 1m 47.9630s -- smashing the standing record of 1m 48.9407s which he himself set the day before.

The Coates Aussie Racing Cars headed out for their second of three races mid-morning, with Nick Simmons continuing his race winning form to make it two in a row this weekend, with top qualifier for the weekend Paul Kemal setting the fastest lap of the race at 2.07.3380 seconds during the six lap hit-out.

While the Haymans Electrical Porsche Carrera Cup didn't head out today, instead saving their second and third races for the Saturday and Sunday of the four day Event, there was never an empty minute on-track with a full entertainment program.

The FMX show, CAPA Stunt Team, Ben Bray and his burnout ute, the 360 Commodre and Police Mustang car, Bartercard Miss Indy parades, the XXXX Angels and the drift cars kept the crowd happy while the Australian Defence Force turned it on with their Tiger Helicopters, Army Red Berets Parachute Team, Army Parades and even a practice F111 fly-by which stunned the crowd.

With 96 hours of non-stop excitement over October 23-26 as the Gold Coast comes alive to the sound of the IndyCar Series burning up the track and Australia's own V8 Supercars scorching around one of the most famous beach-side cities in the world, the event is the hottest ticket in town.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY... Will Power: #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone -- INDYCAR SERIES "It was a very good day for the our whole KV Racing Technology team and the Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia car was good right out of the box," said Power.

"It's still early and qualifying isn't until tomorrow.

"That and Sunday are all that matter to me. I am glad we are quick, but we still need to improve the car a bit tonight.

"This is a very competitive field and we will have to be faster tomorrow."

Jamie Whincup: #88 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon BF -- V8 SUPERCARS "(Qualifying on pole is) an awesome start to the weekend," said Whincup.

"The boys have rolled out a quick car from the truck. Obviously half way through we had some problems with the gear box, but altogether we got the most out of the race and were rewarded with the car in pole position"

"Indy is a lot of fun... It's like a concrete canyon out there. Its tight, drive through trying to clip the tyre barriers but not 'touch' them ... its an amazing feeling as a driver out there.

"Every race from here on in is important (for the Championship)... I haven't really been thinking about the championship up until now, but as we get close to the end of the season, every race is becoming more important."

"I still go as hard as I can... I want to get to the end of the year and look in the mirror and know I've done the best I can."


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About this article
Series Supercars , F3 , IndyCar , Porsche
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Bruno Junqueira , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Garth Tander , Jamie Whincup , Paul Dumbrell , Will Power , James Winslow , John Martin
Teams KV Racing Technology