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Talks ongoing about Surfers date.

Surfers Paradise could still feature on the 2009 IndyCar Series schedule despite not being named on the calendar released by the series yesterday [Wednesday].

On the same day that the dates for a race on the Gold Coast later this year were officially confirmed, Surfers Paradise was conspicuous in its absence from the 18-round schedule then released by the series.

However, speaking afterwards, Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, revealed that talks were still ongoing about a race in Australia in 2009 with a 'good spot for it to fit' being as part of a double-header with the Japanese race at Motegi in September.

"We are in active conversations regarding '09," he revealed. "We are keeping a couple of slots open for them and we're hopeful it can be announced. When we conclude those we'll certainly let everyone know.

"But we're hopeful we will get them included for '09. I just can't indicate that as yet."

The 2008 running of the Gold Coast Indy 300 will take place on October 26, marking the first time that the IndyCar Series will have competed on Australian soil.

With a number of drivers from Australia and New Zealand set to line up on the grid for the event, Angstadt said he anticipated large support for what will be a non-championship race following the conclusion of the current campaign.

"We are pleased to announce that the IndyCar Series will hold its first event in Australia this October to celebrate the completion of a successful first season of unified open-wheel racing," he said. "Dating back to 1991, the Gold Coast Indy 300 has been labelled the race with the hottest cars, the hottest parties and the hottest beaches, with one of the world's most famous beach-side cities, Surfers Paradise, hosting 96 hours of non-stop excitement on and off the racetrack.

"This is a great opportunity to expose a country with a rich open-wheel racing heritage to the faces of the IndyCar Series. And with drivers such as Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon hailing from the South Pacific, it makes for an even better homecoming after the end of the season."

Following the event at Surfers Paradise, the IndyCar Series will continue its post-season celebration with a championship banquet in Las Vegas.

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Gold Coast track and ocean
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Franck Montagny is making his IndyCar Series debut. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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