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PremiAir Racing set for Gold Coast base

PremiAir Racing is close to settling on a Gold Coast base for its maiden Supercars campaign.

Garry Jacobson, Team Sydney Holden

The category's newest team is in a race to get to the grid for next month's season-opener, new owner Peter Xiberras starting with a clean sheet after acquiring what was known as Team Sydney.

As part of the transformation from Team Sydney to PremiAir Racing the squad will set up a brand new factory in South East Queensland.

The initial plan was to look for a Brisbane base to be close to technical partner Triple Eight.

However the team is now set to be based closer to the Gold Coast, along with Matt Stone Racing and Dick Johnson Racing.

A deal on factory could be completed as soon as this week, although the PremiAir cars are still likely to run out of T8's shop until at least after the opening round in Sydney.

"We're going to be near the Gold Coast," Xiberras confirmed on the Castrol Motorsport News podcast.

"We're pretty close [to a deal]. I'm going up the end of this week or early next week to sign off. There are two or three places that we're looking at, but they are all close to the Gold Coast."

The PremiAir Racing Holdens are currently at T8's Brisbane factory where they are being upgraded to current spec.

While the other three Queensland-based teams will take part in a pre-season test at Queensland Raceway this Wednesday, PremiAir has been given a dispensation to push its first test back a week.

According to Xiberras that will both free up more time for the cars to be prepared, as well as free up T8 staff and drivers to have more input at the first test.

"The main reason we pushed back was, one, we just needed more time to get the cars together," he said.

"Second, because Triple Eight would have all their drivers and engineers at the track doing their thing, as much as they would help, they would only give us limited amount of help, I would think.

"By pushing it back we get a lot more access to their engineers and drivers and help. It will help us a lot more."

Help from the T8 drivers could even mean someone from the T8 stable driving a PremiAir car to give Chris Pither and Garry Jacobson some guidance.

However that would require approval from Supercars, even if it was recently-retired Jamie Whincup, who isn't classed as one of T8's primary drivers.

"I don't know," said Xiberras when asked about a T8 driver taking part in the test.

"There are a lot of rules in Supercars in what drivers can and can't do. I don't quite know what that ruling is, so I don't know if that will happen or could happen.

"It would be nice. But [the test is] more about making sure our drivers and engineers understand [the cars], and if they have questions there are Triple Eight personnel to ask."

While admittedly daunted by the current workload, Xiberras is confident it will all be worth it when his cars are sitting on the grid for Race 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park next week.

"Right now, when you ask that question, I feel excited, I feel nervous, I feel anxiety, I suppose," he said.

"I don't know, we've got so much work to do in such a short time.

"A lot of people said we couldn't do it, and I can see what they would say that. But I'm here to prove everyone wrong, and I know we will do it."

The season will kick off with the Sydney SuperNight on March 4-6.

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