Scott Dixon teams with Jack Daniel's Racing for Surfers Paradise

SCOTT DIXON JOINS JACK DANIEL'S RACING FOR ARMOR ALL GOLD COAST 600 New Zealand motorsport star Scott Dixon will join Jack Daniel's Racing at the revamped Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia on ...

SCOTT DIXON JOINS JACK DANIEL'S RACING FOR ARMOR ALL GOLD COAST 600

New Zealand motorsport star Scott Dixon will join Jack Daniel's Racing at the revamped Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia on October 22-24 this year.

The IZOD IndyCar Series front-runner will suit up for Todd and Rick Kelly's V8 Supercar team aboard one of the team's 630 horsepower Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores at the Gold Coast event, which for the first time will be a V8 Supercar endurance event requiring two drivers per car.

Dixon is one of the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series in North America, winning that championship in 2003 and 2008 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing as well as winning one of the world's biggest motorsport events, the Indianapolis 500, in 2008.

The 29-year-old has raced three times on the Gold Coast, with a best result of second place in 2008 aboard his #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone IndyCar. He also competed in the Honda Young Guns races on the Gold Coast for up-and-coming Australian and New Zealand drivers in 2000.

Dixon says that he can't wait to get back to the Gold Coast, an event he rates as a personal favourite as well as his unofficial home race.

"Gold Coast as a race, Surfers, for me it was my favourite race," said Scott Dixon.

"I'm probably a little biased because I can catch up with friends and family with it being so close to New Zealand.

"The fact that you have the party atmosphere, you have a big race going on, it's by the beach, you couldn't ask for anything more and it's definitely a standout.

"I'd say 90 percent, or even 110 percent, of the drivers, always loved that race. It was the best race that we go to and everybody looked forward to it.

"Everybody would fly in a week before the race. A lot of the races here in America you fly in the Thursday night before it starts on Friday.

"It's a shame that we're not back there in the IndyCar but to obviously go back in a V8 is going to be even cooler."

The quick Kiwi said that he is excited to make his V8 Supercar debut for Jack Daniel's Racing this October, having raced in his teens in Australia where V8 Supercars are the premier motorsport category in the country.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," said Dixon.

"To go back to the Gold Coast, it's definitely a lot different to any of the other times I've run there.

"I think when we went down there it's a race that I always watch before our IndyCar race and obviously coming from New Zealand and racing a lot in Australia, (V8 Supercars) has been a series I've always followed.

"From my racing career, Australia was a lot of it. It was definitely my big break into having to transition to America and obviously living in Melbourne for a while there.

"I think for me to go back to those roots and actually race in this series, which is obviously a very big series down there, is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can get a good result out of it."

Todd Kelly and Dixon were rivals in the 1998 Australian Formula Holden Championship as teenagers, with Dixon edging out Kelly for the title before moving to the United States to pursue a career in North American open-wheel racing.

Kelly, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner, now welcomes Dixon into he and brother Rick's Jack Daniel's Racing squad for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this October, which will be Dixon's first race in a V8 Supercar.

"We started out together in Formula Holden so we go back to nearly the beginning of our careers," said Todd Kelly.

"We were pretty fierce competitors back in those days so it's will be interesting to get him back in our team in one of our Jack Daniel's Racing Commodores at Surfers.

"Since we were rivals Scott has gone on to win championships and an Indy 500, and it doesn't get any bigger than that, so we are certainly lucky to get guys of his calibre in our category and it's great to have him as a part of Jack Daniel's Racing."

Todd Kelly is high in his praise of the new format for the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

"This is probably the most exciting thing in V8 Supercars since I've been racing, which is a long time," said Todd Kelly.

"To have this many names, basically some of the elite of motorsport around the world, all lobbing onto the Gold Coast this October to double the size of our field for an endurance event, is massive.

"It will be extremely interesting to see how some of these big names go compared to us regular V8 Supercar drivers."

The Gold Coast event was staged as an Indycar/Champ Car event from 1991 to 2008. At the relaunched event this year, which will be held on a shortened version of the Surfers Paradise street circuit, each V8 Supercar team will be require to field one star 'international' driver in its four driver line-up (two per car) for the two 300 kilometre races to be held over the weekend.

FULL SCOTT DIXON INTERVIEW QUOTES:

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," said Scott Dixon.

"To go back to the Gold Coast, it's definitely a lot different to any of the other times I've run there.

"I think when we went down there it's a race that I always watch before our IndyCar race and obviously coming from New Zealand and racing a lot in Australia, (V8 Supercars) has been a series I've always followed.

"From my racing career, Australia was a lot of it. It was definitely my big break into having to transition to America and obviously living in Melbourne for a while there.

"I think for me to go back to those roots and actually race in this series, which is obviously a very big series down there, is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can get a good result out of it.

"Gold Coast as a race, Surfers, for me it was my favourite race. I'm probably a little biased because I could catch up with friends and family with it being so close to New Zealand.

"The fact that you have the party atmosphere, you have a big race going on, it's by the beach, you couldn't ask for anything more and it's definitely a standout.

"I'd say 90 percent, or even 110 percent, of the drivers, always loved that race. It was the best race that we go to and everybody looked forward to it.

"Everybody would fly in a week before the race. A lot of the races here in America you fly in the Thursday night before it starts on Friday.

"It's a shame that we're not back there in the IndyCar but to obviously go back in a V8 is going to be even cooler.

"My thoughts on V8 Supercar racing are that it's a perfect formula.

"You've got great competition and very big fields of cars. Not to align it with NASCAR or anything, but it also puts on a great show.

"It has a massive following in New Zealand and obviously Australia as well.

"Just the competition level for me is the challenge. I think most drivers can see that and that's why they want to get a taste of it.

"It's cool to see new teams come through and obviously it happens in our series and formula as well.

"Rick and Todd (Kelly), I've known those guys for a long time and I've raced Todd for a championship when I won in Formula Holden down there so I have a lot of good memories of those guys.

"I haven't seen them for a long time so it's going to be awesome to team up with them. It seems like a great team atmosphere so far and the success they've had so far is looking really promising.

"I hope a lot of Kiwi fans come to cheer us on. I've already been on the phone to a few people so that they can book a hotel and get over there for the race.

"Hopefully we get a lot of support from New Zealand. It's so close. For me it's going to be a great race to catch up with people.

"There are a lot of racers over there that I haven't seen for a whole time.

"We just need to make the white more of a silver and it will be a Kiwi car! The whole outfit and sponsorship is going to be a whole lot of fun."

-source: kelly racing

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About this article
Series Supercars , IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi , Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing