Ingall ecstatic with new 6-year Gold Coast deal
V8 Supercar star Russell Ingall could not be happier with the news that his home race, the Gold Coast Indy 300, has been secured for the next six years.
A deal was reached this week with both the new-look IndyCar Series in the US and V8 Supercars Australia.
Now regarded as one of the world’s iconic motorsport events, the Gold Coast Indy 300 is now secure until and including 2013 with major plans already underway for a massive 20th anniversary celebration in 2010.
V8 Supercars have raced on the streets of Surfers Paradise for championship points for the past seven years – this year’s race will be held from October 23-26.
Ingall, who won the V8 Supercar round in 2003 and was runner-up last season, says that today’s news is a major boost for the event and will make it one of the world’s most spectacular motorsport events well into the future.
“It is great news that the event here on the Gold Coast is going to be even bigger and better for the next six years,” said Ingall, the 2005 V8 Supercar Champion.
“The Gold Coast Indy 300 is my home race and the circuit is literally only a short drive from my home. It’s the biggest thing that happens in Queensland each year and to have confirmation that the event will continue to be a world-class spectacle for the next six years is fantastic for this city.”
Today’s news comes after the merger of the two major open-wheel racing series, the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series, was confirmed in the United States last week.
Officials from the Gold Coast Indy 300 event immediately flew to the United States to secure a race of the newly-united IndyCar Series for the event, which began back in 1991.
The final piece of the puzzle, which will continue to give V8 Supercars equal billing with the IndyCar Series at the October event, was put in place after positive discussions with V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane this week.
“The Gold Coast event is right up there with any racing carnival in the world,” said Ingall.
“Not only do you have one of the most beautiful places on the planet as the setting for the race, you have the best touring car category in the world sharing top-billing with the best of US open-wheel racing.”
Ingall won his home event in 2003, the year he made the switch from Holden to Ford.
This year the driver known as ‘The Enforcer’ has made the move back to Holden to join the Gold Coast-based Supercheap Auto Racing outfit and Ingall would like a similar result to his 2003 effort, where he won both races heats.
This year’s event will be round 11 on the 14-round V8 Supercar Championship Series.
“The Indy event is really one that every V8 Supercar driver marks on their calendar at the start of the year as one of the rounds they would really like to win,” said Ingall.
“The crowd is the biggest we race in front of all year and the trophy is one that all the guys love – the now-traditional Indy Surfboards.
“The circuit is really, really tough – both the V8 guys and IndyCar drivers will all tell you how tough it is – so you know you and you’re team have done well if you can come out of the weekend on the top step on the podium.
“My win back in 2003 was fantastic and last year I got another surfboard for the collection with second place. I’d love to get another board for my trophy room in the Supercheap Auto Commodore this year.”
Ingall will compete in the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek in Sydney this weekend.