Surfers race welcomes merger Gold Coast Indy 300 General Manager Greg Hooton. has welcomed today's announcement that both the Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League would be moving forward under one unified open-wheel banner in 2008.
The Gold Coast has hosted a CART or Champ Car race since 1991 and the event has become one of the world’s great motorsport spectacles with four-day crowds in excess of 300,000 for the past five years.
While the final make-up of the new-look series is yet to be announced, Hooton said he and event Chairman, Terry Mackenroth, will be heading the US next week to meet with the new organization.
That trip will be pre-empted by a meeting with V8 Supercars Chairman Tony Cochrane to discuss the continued equal billing of both V8 Supercars and the new open-wheel series on the Gold Coast program.
The Champ Car Series has shared equal billing with Australia’s home-grown V8 Supercar Series for the past six years on the streets of the Gold Coast and the two have combined to provide one of the world’s great on-track programs.
The event had been constantly referred to as the ‘crown jewel’ of the now former Champ Car World Series for several years and has become a ‘must do’ on the list of motorsport fans worldwide.
“There is no doubt that this is a fantastic day for open-wheel racing and I believe will provide a new era for our event,” said Hooton.
“Despite the obvious implications of the split over the last 12 years our event has continued to grow and become a true world-class spectacle.
“All indications during the unification talks were that the Gold Coast Indy 300 would be a part of a unified series and we look forward to having those discussions in the US in the next week.
“While the Indy 500 would be the highlight of the oval portion of the new-look series, I believe we can set the standard for street events.
“The event will be a case of deja vu with names like Andretti and Rahal doing battle - this time it will be the sons, Marco and Graham, fighting it out while their racing great dads, Michael and Bobby, watch on from pit lane.
“When you combine that with the V8 Supercar stars like Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, James Courtney and Mark Skaife, you really have something special.”
The 2008 Gold Coast Indy 300 is set for October 23 - 26.