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
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.
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
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
“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.
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