Champ Car stars arrive in Australia
Australia competes in numerous high profile, International sporting contests but none are steeped in quite as much history as the cricketing Ashes series played regularly against England.
For Australian Champ Car World Series driver Will Power and his English adversary Justin Wilson, today was a chance to settle some scores prior to the big battle looming at this year’s Lexmark Indy 300, to be held on the Gold Coast October 18-21.
The preliminary bout called for the more traditional contest of bat and ball, with assistance from students of the Surfers Paradise State School.
Both drivers agree the adrenaline charged format of the Lexmark Indy 300 has already been providing its own tradition of sporting excellence and with 12 countries again vying for overall honors there’s great anticipation.
“The Lexmark Indy 300 is a fantastic event and a great race. It is very demanding for the drivers, but all the same very rewarding,” said Wilson, who only last weekend captured his maiden victory of the year in Holland.
“Coming off such a great result in Holland you couldn’t ask for a better venue for post race celebrations than here in Queensland, Australia.
“But in saying that the entire CDW/RuSPORT team are intent on making it back-to-back here at Indy.
“The atmosphere, the people, everything about the Gold Coast is so enjoyable so it is an event we all look forward to.”
On the strength of a consistent season typified by his last round checkered flag effort, Wilson has leapfrogged into second position in the Championship behind three-time titleholder Sebastien Bourdais.
That has seen Australia’s own Will Power drop back to fourth overall behind Robert Doornbos, who has steered great fortune for Aussie team owner Paul Stoddart in 2007.
“But we’re only 15 points shy of Justin (Wilson) so all it will take is a committed effort back home in Australia to get our season back on track and try haul back the points difference out in front,” said Power.
“For the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards team this is the one we’ve been waiting for, but more importantly I want to win Indy for all the supporters who have backed me through my career.
“Last year it was awesome to take pole position but after the race it was so disappointing to have come away empty handed when we knew we could have won.
“There’s unfinished business and we’re coming here with just one goal and that’s to win everything on offer in front of a home crowd.
“Hopefully there’ll also be plenty of support from back home in Toowoomba and a few of the locals will travel down for the race.”
Following the cricketing duel Power and Wilson chatted with and signed autographs for Surfers Paradise State School students, who will get their first taste of on-track action at this year’s Lexmark Indy 300, during Thursday’s traditional Banana Boat Student’s Day.
If anything, both drivers have boosted their stock of fans for this year’s Gold Coast extravaganza which will also feature the highly popular V8 Supercars that will also be let loose on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
The Banana Boat Student’s Day at the Lexmark Indy 300 provides opportunities for teachers to prepare student’s studies in numerous different areas of the school curriculum including science, hospitality, event management, film and television, health and physical education, mathematics and engineering.
There will be educational forums held on the Sea FM Stage, a Speed Comparison on track, presentations by Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Department of Sport and Recreation, plus involvement from National AFL sporting team the North Melbourne Kangaroos.