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Wheldon joins Surfers V8 end-of-year party

Sportscar star Simon Pagenaud is also confirmed for the Gold Coast race with the Garry Rogers Holden squad. Although not part of the current IndyCar regular line-up, Pagenaud - who ran a full season in the last year of Champ Cars alongside Will Power at Team Australia - sat in for an injured Ana Beatriz at the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this year and took part in series testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week as he aims for a full-time IndyCar drive in 2012.

Other confirmed competitors include F1's Tonio Liuzzi and former F1 stars Mika Salo, Jan Magnussen, Christian Klien, Gianni Morbidelli and Stephane Sarrazin, as well as three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaux who was the most successful of the "guest star" entries in 2010 with second place in race 1.

Although NASCAR Sprint Cup will still be deep in its post-season title shootout, there is still representation from US stock cars in the form of popular road specialist Boris Said who will race with Paul Morris Motorsport.

"This will be my first trip to the Surfers Paradise Street circuit, but I'm looking forward to racing against some of the best drivers in the world," enthused Said, winner of the 2005 Nurburgring 24-hour and 1998 Sebring 12-hour races. "I don't want to go out there and wreck their car but I'm going to give it a good run."

Just because the Armor All Gold Coast 600 V8 is ideally placed to allow racing stars to decompress and enjoy themselves after long campaigns in their respective series, it doesn't mean that the competition will be any less serious or intense.

"Will, Alex and I have been competing against each other all year so I there's a bit more on the line for us - bragging rights," said Briscoe. "The international field is shaping up to be really competitive, and with an international driver in each car the field will become even tighter."

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Garth Tander,  (aust) Toll HRT Commodore   The Coffee Club V8 Supercar Challenge Rd 11 V8 Supercars Nikon Indy 300 Gold Coast Qld
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Dan Wheldon joins the Versus TV coverage team for the Honda Indy Toronto. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
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