Larkham signs Gardner as co-driver for Queensland 500

Mark Larkham Signs Wayne Gardner For VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 Next weekend's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 will be graced by another former world champion after Mark Larkham announced Wayne Gardner as his co-driver for the 500km endurance test...

Mark Larkham Signs Wayne Gardner For VIP Petfoods Queensland 500

Next weekend's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 will be graced by another former world champion after Mark Larkham announced Wayne Gardner as his co-driver for the 500km endurance test today.

Gardner will also be joining Larkham for the V8 1000 at Bathurst on October 4-7, where the two have individually taken the last two pole positions.

The other former world champion in the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 field will be 1980 Formula One world champion Alan Jones who will be co-driving the Toll Falcon with Anthony Tratt.

Larkham is the last of the leading V8 Supercar teams to finalise his driver line-up for the endurance races, which are shaping as the most competitive in the history of Australian touring car racing.

Larkham believes Gardner will give his team enough speed to have a chance in next weekend's event at the Queensland Raceway, near Ipswich.

"It is certainly terrific to have a driver of Wayne's profile and ability on board with us," said Larkham. "We are both extremely competitive people and want to win both the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 and the V8 1000. "To have the pole sitters of the last two Bathursts in one car is certainly a good start when talking about speed. "The field for next week's race is probably the best quality endurance field ever assembled and it will be important to have the right driver pairing It has taken us a while, but I think we have certainly put together a team that can win the race."

Gardner has been racing in the Japanese GT Championship which consists mainly of endurance events with driver changes. He will arrive on the Gold Coast next week from his home in Monaco and cannot wait to get back behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar.

"Mark (Larkham) runs a professional and competitive race team and it will be good to be a part of it for the endurance races," said Gardner. "The Queensland 500 and Bathurst are both high-profile races and you need to know you are arriving at both events with a competitive package. "Queensland Raceway is the home test track for Mark's team so I think that will certainly help us to some degree. "I think Bathurst is an event every Australian race driver wants to win at some stage of his career and Mark and I have both proven to be quick there in the past."

Larkham is still chasing a naming-rights sponsor for his Ford Falcon after a contractual agreement with his former partners was not honored two months ago.

"We have struggled a little since losing our major sponsor, but we are hoping the involvement of Wayne will help us get a naming-rights partner over the line in coming weeks," said Larkham. "At a time when everyone was expecting us to be on the back foot we have come out on the front foot and are doing everything to maintain our professional standards. "At the end of the day we need to maintain a level of professionalism and if that means less testing, than that's what we have to handle."

Tickets for this year's VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 can be purchased Ticketthrough master7.com or by phoning 1 300 888 086.

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Series Supercars
Drivers Alan Jones , Wayne Gardner , Mark Larkham , Anthony Tratt