V8 Supercar drivers met with the fans and media on Monday ahead of this weekend's Nikon SuperGP at Surfers Paradise, and their message was clear: they're revved up.
Following the announcement that the A1 Grand Prix portion of the event on the Australian street course had been canceled, SuperGP organizers announced that the event would feature four 150km V8 Supercar races along with an “Australian Legends” program. V8 Supercar has been taking an increasingly predominant role in the event in recent years with the problems surrounding CART/Champ Car – the series for which the event was originally designed back in 1991 – and the series' drivers are excited are now having the spotlight to themselves at the prestigious Gold Coast race, after sharing with the unified IndyCar Series last year.
“It is a sport that I love and I love the racing – so it will be 50 percent more fun this weekend. It's going to be great,” enthused reigning Gold Coast winner and V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup. “It is a big thumbs-up for me and I think it will be great for the fans – I love the track and this event is one of my big ones as its local and I love the layout. I really am just rearing to get into it.”
IRWIN Racing Ford driverAlex Davison echoed Whincup's statements.
“There has been a lot of talk over the last few days, but I think the news about four 150-kilometer races and also having the Australian Legends on track means that it is going to be a great event,” said Davison. “I grew up watching these cars so I can't wait to get on the fence and watch these cars going around.”
The Australian Legends category will feature some of the country's retired motorsports stars, including Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett, John French, Glenn Seton and Colin Bond, running laps “at close to race speeds.” They will be driving a host of former championship and Bathurst 1000-winning cars.
Johnson, who competed in NASCAR as well as Australian touring cars, will be joined by his son Steve, who will also be competing in the four V8 Supercar races on the streets of the Gold Coast and who is looking forward to driving a couple of the cars which made his dad a household name in Australia.
The weekend event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first of Sir Jack Brabham's three Formula 1 world titles, with a re-enactment of that win and the appearance of Sir Jack alongside his Le Mans and IMSA Camel GT star son Geoff and grandson Matthew in a special parade lap.
Nikon SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton said he was looking forward to seeing the new race program in action.
“While it is obviously disappointing that they'll be no A1GP's racing, the new V8 Supercar track additions and parade of legends from our great sport of motor racing, will certainly offer spectators more on and off track action with real value for money,” said Hooton.