Champ Car draws 314,136 in Australia
Queensland’s Gold Coast has reconfirmed its status as the motorsport event capital of Australia as 314,136 people soaked up the sun, sand and exciting on-track action during the four-day Lexmark Indy 300 carnival.
Sun shines bright on Surfers race
In a perfect result for the State’s glitter strip, the annual combination of 750 horsepower International Champ Car action and 640 horsepower V8 Supercars packed a mighty punch that continues to attract mountainous support from home and abroad.
Superlatives were aplenty for the event spectacular over the course of the weekend with Champ Car provisional pole sitter Oriol Servia describing the Queensland feature as ‘the best race on the planet’ and ‘having even more to offer than the Formula One event held annually in Monaco.’
On the racing front, history making Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing) became the first ever driver to claim a second Lexmark Indy 300 victory, during his swansong Australian appearance in the Champ Car World Series.
Holden’s Toll HSV driver Garth Tander won a game of survival during the final 27-lap race of the V8 Supercar Challenge to take overall honors and claim a maiden surfboard trophy from the iconic Queensland event.
Adding to his 2005 event title, Bourdais’ victory assured the Formula One bound driver a record breaking fourth consecutive Vanderbilt Cup Championship title, while second placed Justin Wilson (RuSPORT Racing) of England and Brazil’s Bruno Junqueira (Dale Coyne Racing) continued their hot form of late to complete the podium.
The Surfers Paradise street circuit precinct was again a patriotic sea of green and gold today in support of local hero Will Power, however just as he was last year the Toowoomba driver was struck by a series of misfortunes and made an early exit on lap 19.
Power’s Team Australia team mate, Simon Pagenaud of France was happy to take on the adopted Aussie tag as he clinched a worthy top five finish.
In a bizarre final race encounter in the V8 Supercar Challenge at the Lexmark Indy 300, carnage reined as drivers set a path for victory in the closing 27-lap assault, which made for an entertaining spectacle to close off the 2007 event.
The unforgiving nature of the temporary street circuit brought about numerous caution periods, black flag penalties, spin outs and much more. Although Garth Tander was right amongst it, he hung tough to secure a popular victory for Holden fans.
Ford’s Team Vodafone campaigner Jamie Whincup appeared to have done enough to take the round victory during the concluding stages, however, while plotting a determined course for the race victory, it all came undone with just two laps remaining.
Despite an earlier drive-through penalty Tander fought back to earn the required points after taking checkered flag honors in the opening two encounters.
Claiming second for the event was Caltex Racing’s Russell Ingall while Jason Richards of Tasman Motorsport slotted into third.
In this morning’s final race of Aunger Carrera Cup it was a similarly drama charged encounter as Alex Davison managed to claim the checkered flag, but it was local two-race winner Marcus Marshall who tasted the victory champagne as the round winner.
The Lexmark Indy 300 provided the final round of the Porsche Series for 2007 and a third placing overall to David Reynolds was more than enough for him to claim a maiden Championship title.