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Gold Coast happy with place on '08 schedule
The Gold Coast Indy 300 (note the sponsor Lexmark is now gone and race is called Gold Coast Indy 300) on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Queensland, will be the penultimate round of next year’s Champ Car World Series on October 23-26, 2008.

Champ Car today released its 2008 schedule, opening the season in Long Beach to celebrate the premier Champ Car race’s Silver Anniversary and introducing a new Champ Car World Series event in Jerez, Spain, to expand its profile in Europe.

The Champ Car World Series, set to conduct its 30th season in 2008, will feature eight permanent road circuits and six temporary circuits.

It will hold six U.S. races, three races in Canada and one race in Mexico to maintain its solid base in North America with 10 races.

The open-wheel racing series also adds one new event in Europe to expand to three European races in 2008.

The Gold Coast Indy 300 will not only be a vital round of the Champ Car World Series, but the weekend will also play an important role in the outcome of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, which will be round 11 of the 14-round touring car battle.

Gold Coast Indy 300 General Manager, Greg Hooton, was pleased to again be provided with the penultimate Champ Car round and was one of the guests on an international phone hook-up this morning.

“Having just completed our 2007 round the other weekend where we hosted 314,000 fans over four days we're absolutely looking forward to 2008,” said Hooton.

“With the Queensland Government's continued support and the support of everyone, we think it's going to be another great season.

“Obviously, we're hoping that Will Power will do better in next year’s race in his Team Australia entry.

“Being the penultimate round does give us the chance to maybe see Will (Power) in a position to be challenging for the championship.

“We're more than happy to be involved in the whole series. We just see it going from strength to strength, and the racing in Europe has us all looking forward to next year.”

Champ Car Series President and CEO, Steve Johnson, pointed to 2008 as being a real consolidation year for the open-wheel series.

“We have succeeded in improving our schedules for next season, offering Champ Car fans, sponsors, teams, drivers, TV broadcasters and other stakeholders a cohesive, strong calendar of events,” said Johnson.

“We will stabilise our base in North America, begin a steady growth plan for Europe, and provide a balance of temporary and permanent circuits.”

“By pairing Jerez with Zolder and conducting them in June, we now will be in Europe during two different times next season rather than just one as we were in 2007.”

“Assen will remain in September, where it was very successful this year. The two 2008 trips expand our reach in Europe and establish two footprints for future growth there.”

Meanwhile The 2007 Champ Car World Series will reach a conclusion in Mexico this weekend.

Team Australia driver Will Power has been cleared to drive in the event after fracturing his wrist in an incident at his home race on the Gold Coast a couple of weeks ago.

Sebastein Bourdais, who collected a record fourth consecutive title at the Gold Coast Indy 300, will be making his last appearance in Champ Car before heading to Formula 1 next season.

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