Gold Coast race aims for Schumacher, others. V8 SUPERCARS will launch an immediate raid on Formula One stars in an audacious bid to lure the sport's biggest names to the Gold Coast for next year's motorsport carnival.
It is understood V8 Supercar chairman Tony Cochrane has compiled a secret 'Formula One heavy' hit list after the 2011 F1 season schedule showed the world's leading motorsport series will be between events during the Gold Coast carnival.
The Bulletin can also reveal Michael Schumacher is the long-term goal for the event once he retires from grand prix racing.
The revelations came as the GC600 attracted a stunning three-day crowd of 170,073 -- 25,000 more than organizers predicted, sealing the future for at least the short term.
Retired superstars David Coulthard and Jean Alesi will top the list with the Australian motorsport series set to open the purse strings.
No current driver will be allowed to take time out from the Formula One series but many retired drivers, who are still linked with teams, will be granted leave passes during the scheduled break.
"I can't get Schumacher until he retires ... but don't worry, once he retires I will get him," said Mr. Cochrane.
The V8 Supercars boss was tight-lipped about who he had his eye on immediately, but confirmed there was a Formula One hit list.
"Next year we don't clash with Formula One, so there are a lot of ex-Formula One stars who are tied up in the circuit like John Alesi and David Coulthard who will become available," he said.
"It will be an interesting go-around next time.
"There are so many guys that want to drive in it and all the guys that are here now who can come back want to come back.
"I'm open about who we have."
Despite a spree of accidents, Mr. Cochrane remains focused on having an international driver in every car next year and said he was amazed how quickly the concept had caught on.
"All of a sudden you go from people thinking something doesn't work to 170,000 people voting with their feet," he said.
"This is exactly what Gold Coast tourism needs." Goldcoast.com.au