Australian V8 Supercar driver David Besnard has been given the green light to compete in a Champ Car in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise next month. Besnard will line up in a Reynard in Derrick Walker's Walker Racing team...
Australian V8 Supercar driver David Besnard has been given the green light to compete in a Champ Car in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise next month.
Besnard will line up in a Reynard in Derrick Walker's Walker Racing team following a three-way agreement between Walker, US Champ Car series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven and Australian businessman Craig Gore.
The decision comes three weeks after Besnard had a successful Champ Car test session at the Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Gory (Craig Gore) made a promise to Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and the public that he would get an Aussie in a car at Indy," said Besnard.
"He told me at the start of this that it would be a tough road getting there but he wasn't going to fail in delivering."
Besnard will return to the US later this week for a second test before flying back to Australia mid next week to compete in the 10th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series -- the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst.
Besnard, who drives a Ford Falcon in the V8 Supercar series for Gore's Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group (WPS Racing), was informed of the decision this afternoon.
"It's great to finally get the green light and I'm looking forward to flying the Aussie flag at Indy," said Besnard.
"I won't be going out there to win the race but I'll be looking to put on a good show and just soak up the experience."
Besnard will compete under the same WPS Racing livery that he sports on his V8 Supercar.
"Bezzy's inclusion will be fantastic news for anyone considering attending the event. It's great that we have got an Aussie -- and especially a Queenslander -- for everyone to follow," said Gore.
"I'm delighted to have worked with Kevin and Derrick in arriving at a final resolution."
The inclusion of Besnard in the field adds an extra element of excitement for this year's 14th running of the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 21 to 24.
Only two Australian drivers have ever competed in the race. Jason Bright, who like Besnard competes in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, raced at Indy in 2000 and Gary Brabham in 1992-93.
Besnard's late inclusion in the Indy field was made possible after teenager Josh Hunt, who this year has competed in the Toyota Atlantics Championships in the US with the support of Gore's Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group and Kalkhoven, elected to have another season in the US rather than a one-off Champ Car drive at Indy.
Hunt will return to the Atlantics in 2005, again with the support of Gore and Kalkhoven, with a view to graduating into Champ Cars. The Gold Coast teenager is part of the WPS junior development program and will be part of the team at Indy.