The iconic street circuit at Surfers Paradise on Australia's Gold Coast will be graced by an expanded pit facility when the A1 Grand Prix Series makes its inaugural visit in 2009, it was revealed when the two parties' respective heads got together to formally 'launch' their relationship.
While the majority of the field headed home from Sepang to begin their Christmas preparations, a number of A1GP representatives headed to Australia where, alongside Team Australia John Martin and V8 Supercar ace James Courtney, they confirmed that the 'World Cup of Motorsport' would co-headline the former Champ Car/IndyCar event scheduled for 22-25 October next year.
The announcement also included the revelation that a newly-designed pit complex would be created to host the expected 40 teams that the combined A1GP and V8 series would field at Surfers.
“We are happy to formally announce a contract with A1GP for the next five years here on the Gold Coast," events chairman Terry Mackenroth commented, "We first met with A1GP in 2007 to see how their series operated in Taupo, and are happy with the proposal and future of A1GP with Tony Teixeira.
"To get together a franchise agreement and tie it in with the V8s must be a record in the motorsport world, given that it's only two weeks since we ended our association with the IRL."
A1GP general manager of franchise and special projects Paul Cherry admitted during a tour of the existing pit-lane that bringing the event to the Gold Coast was a dream come true.
"I've been here on many occasions with CART and Champ Cars, and it's a fantastic situation to bring A1 here - and to bring one of the iconic names of motor racing, Ferrari, to race around the streets of Surfers in tandem with the V8 Supercar series -- probably the best touring car series in the world," he explained, "We have a world-class event moving forward."
Cherry joined Mackenroth, sports minister Judy Spence, A1 Team Australia seat holder Alan Jones and V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane in Surfers to mark the new relationship, and revealed that A1GP's lawyers had 'burned the midnight oil' to get the agreement ready in time to secure a 2009 race.