Latest Champ Car News and Commentary

New Aussie team to boost Surfers race

 March 29, 2005

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie poses with Team Australia

A feature of Queensland’s big events calendar, Lexmark Indy 300, has had a massive boost with today’s announcement that it will feature a Queensland driver, Queensland team owners and Queensland sponsors.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced 26-year-old Gold Coast talent Marcus Marshall will drive in the 2005 Champ Car World Series for Team Australia, owned by Gold Coast businessmen Craig Gore and John Fish in association with the US-based motorsport identity Derrick Walker.

“The Lexmark Indy 300 will benefit enormously from having a Queensland driver and team owners in the Champ Car World Series,” said Mr Beattie.

“Gold Coaster Marcus Marshall will challenge the world and give fans a local hero.

“I congratulate Marcus, whose commitment to his sport will raise Queensland’s international profile and have significant spin-offs for Lexmark Indy 300.

Queensland  driver Marcus Marshall

“I also commend Craig Gore and John Fish for giving a talented young Queenslander an opportunity to live out his dream of competing in a Champ Car in front of a home crowd.

“This is a great partnership between sport and business, highlighting Queensland talent at the same time as it showcases our corporate world.

“Sponsorship of Team Australia by the new Aussie Vineyards venture is a smart way of promoting Queensland, the Gold Coast, a fledgling industry, and a sport,” Mr Beattie said.

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Sport, Terry Mackenroth, said: “We all have seen the effect that Mark Webber’s participation has had on the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in recent years, and David Besnard’s one-off race at Indy last year generated widespread awareness and interest.

“Marcus Marshall’s involvement will build on that enthusiasm and further lift the profile of this leading Gold Coast event,” Mr Mackenroth said.

Marshall will contest all 14 rounds of this year’s Champ Car World Series for the new Team Australia (formerly Walker Racing) in a green and gold Lola Champ Car sporting signage of Team Australia’s principal backers, Aussie Vineyards and Mr Gore’s Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group.

John Cowley and Marcus Marshall

His debut will be the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California from 8-10 April. Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast from 20-23 October will be Round 13.

Mr Gore and Mr Fish bought a controlling interest in the Indianapolis-based Walker Racing operation and re-launched it as Team Australia. The purchase flowed from relationships built at last year’s Lexmark Indy 300, where Wright Patton Shakespeare linked with Walker Racing to give Besnard a one-off drive, in which he came seventh.

Mr Fish is new to motorsport, while Mr Gore operates the two-car WPS Racing team in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, which will contest a championship round on the Gold Coast in October.

Lexmark Indy 300 Chairman John Cowley is delighted with the announcement, in time for the 15th anniversary of the leading Queensland event.

“This is just fantastic news,” said Mr Cowley. “A full-time Australian driver has been the piece of the puzzle that has been missing from our event which has developed into one of the best motorsport shows in the world.”

“Not only do we have a driver in Marcus, but we also have Australian team owners in John Fish and Craig Gore, who must be congratulated on their move into the world of open-wheel racing as well as V8 Supercars.

“This will no doubt give fans a focus on the series for the entire year and provide them with enough time to organise their trip to the Gold Coast to come and watch Marcus in action.

“This is just another step forward for our event which really has stamped itself as a valuable selling tool for Queensland to the world over the past 15 years.”

2005 Champ Car World Series – Calendar

10 April - Long Beach
22 May - Monterrey
4 June - Milwaukee
19 June - Portland
26 June - Cleveland
10 July - Toronto
17 July - Edmonton
31 July - San Jose
14 Aug. - Denver
28 Aug. - Montreal
24 Sept. - Las Vegas
16 Oct. - Korea
23 Oct. - Australia
6 Nov - Mexico City

The Lexmark Indy 300 will be held on the Gold Coast from October 20 to 23. The Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge will be round 11 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, while the Champ Car race will be round 13 of the Champ Car World Series.

BAM Media

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