Tony Kanaan has admitted that while he would love to take victory this weekend at Surfers Paradise, he already has one eye on the 2009 IndyCar Series season.
The Brazilian was the highest-placed Andretti Green Racing driver during the 2008 season, and will look to impress as the unified open-wheel series makes its first appearance on the Gold Coast.
With the 2009 schedule starting on the streets of St Petersburg, Kanaan admitted that the Nikon Indy 300 will be a useful test session to start winter preparations, although he was quick to point out that he was heading down under with his focus firmly on winning the non-championship event.
"Australia is a nice place to go," the Team 7-Eleven driver said. "Obviously, we are going to use it as another test since our opening race next year is at St. Pete.
"Everybody going to Australia will want to win the race because winning there is a great accomplishment, but we're also going to use the time to learn some things."
AGR stable-mate Marco Andretti will have special reason to chase success on the challenging street circuit, with two members of his the Andretti family having taken victory on the Gold Coast in the past.
"I think the Australia race will be a great time," he admitted. "It's a fun event and I'm looking forward to going.
"The Blockbuster team wasn't very good on most of the road courses in 2008 so this will give us a chance to build some momentum heading into 2009 and the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. My dad (Michael) and second-cousin (John) have both won at Surfers Paradise so hopefully I can add my name to that list."