Tom Cruise may appear at Surfers race

As being reported in the local Surfers media: INDY officials are tight-lipped but car-mad American superstar actor Tom Cruise may be in town for next week's Lexmark Indy 300. Cruise is great friends with actor Paul Newman, whose Newman-Haas team is on the threshold of wrapping up this year's championship, through front-running Frenchman Sebastian Bourdais. Newman has filming commitments in the US but it is understood Cruise has been offered a ride to Australia on series owner Kevin Kalkhoven's Gulfstream Jet. Indy chairman John Cowley said yesterday he was aware of the move to lure Cruise to Surfers. "There are some celebrities coming from the US and you'll have to wait and see if Mr. Cruise is one of them," he said. "He'd certainly add an extra dimension to the event." Cruise, singer Sir Paul McCartney and Newman got together at this year's Long Beach Indy race in Los Angeles. Cruise, who loves to drive fast cars, has already talked with Newman about helping to fund a team in next year's series. Cruise has been to the Gold Coast before, while married to Australian actor Nicole Kidman.

Mr. Cowley yesterday said he was hopeful that the event would attract more than 300,000 spectators, for the second year in succession. "With the right weather that crowd figure is achievable," he said. Mr. Cowley warned at the weekend that he would switch the race to Brisbane, Cairns or Townsville if the Gold Coast didn't want it. But he said the Indy board preferred the Gold Coast.

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