IndyCar's Marco Andretti and ex-Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld will make their V8 Supercars debuts this October after joining the "international guest" lineup for the series' Surfers Paradise event.
The Gold Coast street race now sees a guest driver from elsewhere in motorsport paired with a V8 regular in each car. Andretti and Heidfeld were part of the latest driver lineup announcement made on Friday, along with confirmation that sports car racer Darren Turner will contest the event again. Other international drivers already signed up for Surfers include Sebastien Bourdais and Max Papis.
Andretti will drive for Kelly Racing, alongside Todd Kelly. Andretti has experience of the Surfers track from the non-championship IndyCar Series round there in 2008.
"The sport is growing in popularity in the U.S. and the event has become very popular among the IndyCar drivers, so I'm pumped about the chance to compete," said Andretti. "In terms of results, I definitely want to be competitive. I expect to run in the top 10 and hopefully Todd and the Jack Daniel's boys can help me get straight up to speed."
Heidfeld has completed a deal to join David Reynolds in Ford Performance Racing's third car, run under the Rod Nash Racing license.
"V8 Supercars is a category I am hearing a lot about from friends in Europe who have driven on the Gold Coast, and they all say very positive things," said Heidfeld, who is competing in World Endurance Championship rounds with Rebellion Racing this year after dropping out of the F1 field. "The cars are unique and look like a lot of fun to drive. They are very different to what I have driven for most of my career but I am looking forward to the challenge."
Turner's car for Surfers is yet to be confirmed, but he will run with either Holden Racing Team or Walkinshaw Racing. Last year the Briton made a short-notice V8 debut alongside James Courtney at HRT in Surfers after the death of Dan Wheldon – who had been in line for the seat – in the Las Vegas IndyCar race.