V8 Supercars – US Based Aussie Stars Ready For Surfers Paradise

July 5, 2011

V8 Supercars

International Australian stars Will Power and Ryan Briscoe have both been confirmed as starters for this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, October 21-23.

Both Aussies are in contention for this year’s US-based IZOD Indycar Series with Power sitting in second place behind Dario Franchitti by just 20 points and Briscoe not that many points away back in sixth place.

Both drivers have been given permission to drive in this year’s event by their regular team owner, Roger Penske, who is one of the most successful identities in US motorsports.

While the V8 Supercar Championship Series continues in Townsville this weekend, Power and Briscoe will be competing in the Honda Indy Toronto in Canada.

Power returns to the Gold Coast with Ford Performance Racing, and will team up with Mark Winterbottom in the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon; while Briscoe continues his long association with the Holden Racing Team and will partner either Garth Tander or James Courtney.

The two join this year’s Indy 500 pole sitter Alex Tagliani, European stars Andy Priaulx, Marc Lieb and Dirk Müller, US gun Joey Hand and colourful US veteran Boris Said to be confirmed in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 field, with the remaining 20 drivers being announced in coming weeks.

A world-class field of 18 internationals took to the track as co-drivers with regular V8 Supercar drivers last year – the number increases to 28 this year with every Supercar including an international star.

The international stars will team-up with home-grown Australian talent such as Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Steve Johnson, Jason Bright, Will Davison, Russell Ingall, Garth Tander and Rick Kelly.

Power, who was born and bred in Toowoomba about 2.5 hours west of the Gold Coast, has some unfinished business at Surfers Paradise having taken pole at the event three previous times in an IRL or Champ Car.

“To have a driver who was born and bred in Queensland being so successful in international motorsport is fantastic,” said Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves.

“Will stirred so many emotions for us during Champ Car and Indycar days in Surfers Paradise, and I am sure he will be keen to strut his stuff again in front of his home crowd.”

Ryan Briscoe’s return to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 as one of the renowned internationals is proof Australia breeds some of best drivers in the world.

Briscoe won the only IRL race on the Gold Coast in 2008 for Team Penske.

“Ryan Briscoe is a fabulous young driver who really did us proud by winning the IRL race in 2008 and I am sure his return to HRT will make them one of the favourites for the weekend,” said Phil Reeves.

“We wish them all the best as they both try and claim their first IZOD Indycar title and we look forward to seeing them here in October.

“The Armor All 600 is a race like no other, a challenging street circuit set with an idyllic backdrop and the Queensland Government is proud to be a race sponsor.”

This year’s event will not only include some of the biggest names in world motorsport, but also from the world of entertainment with the event’s Rock and Race format to continue with nightly concerts at the Broadwater Parklands entertainment precinct.

More drivers will be announced in coming weeks before the entire field, ticketing options and world-class concert acts are announced at the event’s official launch.

“Where else can international drivers go to experience V8 Supercar action combined with surf, sun and fun, than at The Gold Coast 600,” Minister Reeves said.

“The event showcases Queensland’s best assets to an international audience.”

WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY…..

WILL POWER – ORRCON STEEL/FORD PERFORMANCE RACING

“I won a few poles in the Indy cars on the streets of Surfers Paradise, but could not get a race win so I certainly have some unfinished business,” said Power.

“The Gold Coast is always a fantastic event. I love to come home to Queensland and have the opportunity to race at an event that has so much energy.

“The whole city shows up for this event and they are joined by fans from all over the world.

“I am really looking forward to working with Frosty (Winterbottom) again and knuckling down and getting the job done.

“Ford Performance Racing has one of the fastest cars out there this season, I’m excited to see how it performs for me. I have to thank Roger Penske and Team Penske for allowing Ryan and I to do this event again this year.

“The International field is looking extremely competitive. I am looking forward to the challenge and maybe winning a surfboard for Orrcon Steel and FPR.

“In the meantime I am concentrating on trying to win my first IZOD IndyCar Series title. It would be fantastic to head home as the champion.”



RYAN BRISCOE – HOLDEN RACING TEAM

“I have fond memories of my Indycar win at Surfers Paradise in 2008 and to go back as part of the Holden Racing Team last year was great,” said Briscoe.

“The international field is shaping up to be really competitive, and with an international driver in each car the field will become even tighter.

“The Gold Coast really is one of the best places race. The people, the beach, the sun and a great street track make for a great event with an amazing atmosphere – not to mention the Sunday night party!

“Team Penske has been supportive of Will and myself being available to do this event again and we have to thank everyone involved for that.

“Will, Alex (Tagliani) and I have been competing against each other all year so I there’s a bit more on the line for us – bragging rights. I am sure you might see a few more Indycar guys confirmed in coming weeks.”

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