|Champ Car and IndyCar drivers love going back to Surfers. IndyCar should have never left|
Stone Brothers Racing has scooped the pool in the lead-up to this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 with the signing of a second Indy 500 champion for the October 21-23 event.
Brazilian and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves will re-join Tim Slade in the Lucky Seven Falcon this year, while two-time IndyCar champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon was announced as part of a Kiwi Super Team alongside Shane Van Gisbergen in the SP Tools Ford last week.
The third SBR IRWIN Tools Falcon will be shared between Alex Davison and German hot shot Marc Lieb.
Both Castroneves and Dixon had previously driven open wheel cars on the streets of Surfers Paradise before being a part of the new Armor All Gold Coast 600 format last year where International drivers were teamed up with regular V8 Supercar stars.
Castroneves currently drives for Team Penske in the IZOD IndyCar Series and struck international fame outside of racing circles a few years back when he won the North American version of Dancing with the Stars.
Castroneves and Dixon join this year’s Indy 500 pole sitter Alex Tagliani, European stars Andy Priaulx, Marc Lieb, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Richard Westbrook, Jorg Bergmeister, Oliver Gavin, and Dirk MÃ¼ller, US gun Joey Hand, colorful US veteran Boris Said, Australian IndyCar stars Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, French sportscar ace Simon Pagenaud, Brazilian hotshot Augusto Farfus and American Le Mans driver Marino Franchitti to be confirmed in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 field, with the remaining 15 drivers being announced over the coming week.
The international stars will team-up with home-grown Australian talent such as Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Steve Johnson, Jason Bright, Will Davison, Russell Ingall, Garth Tander and Rick Kelly.
This year’s event will not only include some of the biggest names in world motorsport, but also from the world of entertainment with the event’s Rock and Race format to continue with nightly concerts at the Broadwater Parklands entertainment precinct.
Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves, said that the return of Castroneves and Dixon was a tremendous coup for the event.
“To have Stone Brothers Racing announce a second former Indy 500 winner for their team is a great coup for them and the event," said Reeves.
“Helio is a tremendously popular driver throughout the world and I am sure there will be many fans back in Brazil keeping an eye on him during the Armor All Gold Coast 600 weekend.
“Helio is one of several drivers making a return visit this year and I think that is a testimony to the V8 Supercar category and the event, in which the Bligh Government is a big believer.
“A fantastic event on the amazing Gold Coast – who would not want to come back?"