Crash.Net IndyCar News
Dixon confirmed for Surfers V8 event
23 April 2010
IZOD IndyCar Series front-runner Scott Dixon will join Jack Daniel's Racing at the revamped Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia on October 22-24 this year.
Dixon will suit up for Todd and Rick Kelly's V8 Supercar team aboard one of the team's 630 horsepower Holden Commodores at the event, which for the first time will be a V8 Supercar endurance round requiring two drivers per car.
The 29-year-old has raced three times on the Gold Coast, with a best result of second place in 2008 aboard his #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone IndyCar. He also competed in the Honda Young Guns races on the Gold Coast for up-and-coming Australian and New Zealand drivers in 2000.
Dixon says that he can't wait to get back to the Gold Coast, an event he rates as a personal favourite as well as his unofficial home race.
“Gold Coast as a race, Surfers, for me it was my favourite race,” said Dixon. “I'm probably a little biased because I can catch up with friends and family with it being so close to New Zealand.
“The fact that you have the party atmosphere, you have a big race going on, it's by the beach, you couldn't ask for anything more and it's definitely a standout. I'd say 90 percent, or even 110 percent, of the drivers, always loved that race. It was the best race that we go to and everybody looked forward to it.
“Everybody would fly in a week before the race. A lot of the races here in America you fly in the Thursday night before it starts on Friday. It's a shame that we're not back there in the IndyCar but to obviously go back in a V8 is going to be even cooler.”
The quick Kiwi said that he is excited to make his V8 Supercar debut for Jack Daniel's Racing this October, having raced in his teens in Australia where V8 Supercars are the premier motorsport category in the country.
“I'm definitely looking forward to it," Dixon added. “To go back to the Gold Coast, it's definitely a lot different to any of the other times I've run there.
“I think when we went down there it's a race that I always watch before our IndyCar race and obviously coming from New Zealand and racing a lot in Australia, (V8 Supercars) has been a series I've always followed.
“From my racing career, Australia was a lot of it. It was definitely my big break into having to transition to America and obviously living in Melbourne for a while there.
“I think for me to go back to those roots and actually race in this series, which is obviously a very big series down there, is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can get a good result out of it.”
Todd Kelly and Dixon were rivals in the 1998 Australian Formula Holden Championship as teenagers, with Dixon edging out Kelly for the title before moving to the United States to pursue a career in North American open-wheel racing.
Kelly, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner, now welcomes Dixon into he and brother Rick's Jack Daniel's Racing squad for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this October, which will be Dixon's first race in a V8 Supercar.
“We started out together in Formula Holden so we go back to nearly the beginning of our careers,” said Todd Kelly. “We were pretty fierce competitors back in those days so it's will be interesting to get him back in our team in one of our Jack Daniel's Racing Commodores at Surfers.
“Since we were rivals Scott has gone on to win championships and an Indy 500, and it doesn't get any bigger than that, so we are certainly lucky to get guys of his calibre in our category and it's great to have him as a part of Jack Daniel's Racing.”
Todd Kelly is high in his praise of the new format for the Armor All Gold Coast 600: “This is probably the most exciting thing in V8 Supercars since I've been racing, which is a long time,” he continued. “To have this many names, basically some of the elite of motorsport around the world, all lobbing onto the Gold Coast this October to double the size of our field for an endurance event, is massive.
“It will be extremely interesting to see how some of these big names go compared to us regular V8 Supercar drivers.”
The Gold Coast event was staged as an Indycar/Champ Car event from 1991 to 2008. At the re-launched event this year, which will be held on a shortened version of the Surfers Paradise street circuit, each V8 Supercar team will be require to field one star 'international' driver in its four driver line-up (two per car) for the two 300 kilometre races to be held over the weekend.