IndyCar »

A1GP takes IRL slot at Surfers.

As has been rumoured since talks to continue US open-wheel racing on the Gold Coast reached an impasse over dates, organisers of the Nikon Indy 300 have swapped the IndyCar Series for a round of the A1 Grand Prix 'World Cup of Motorsport'.

After 18 unbroken years of Champ Car racing at the Australian resort, the Indy Racing League staged just one, exhibition, event this season before stalling on future races because it wanted to prise the round away from its established October date - against the wishes of the organisers. Options in March, where it would have clashed with the F1 grand prix in Melbourne and as part of a double-header in September, which fell outside of Australian school holidays and clashed with the national football and rugby finals, were dismissed.

"They have an expanded series of events and our Indy clashes with the early part of the American Football season," Queensland state sports minister Judy Spence told reporters on Tuesday, "Moving our race to March, as they had requested, was not an option."

A1GP had been rumoured as a potential replacement even before Ryan Briscoe won the 2008 IRL race, and now accepts the prestigious slot alongside the national V8 Supercar Series.

The nation-versus-nation competition has signed a five-year contract to run on the street course at Surfers Paradise, marking the first change of emphasis in the package's single-seater slot since the event started in 1991. When it became known that the IRL might not be back, there was an immediate queue from other global series wanting to be involved, but the Queensland government, which partially subsidises the event, insisted on pairing an open-wheel class with the V8s, which might explain why A1GP got the nod over a rumoured appearance by the European-based DTM touring car series.

The race could now be renamed as the Gold Coast 300 as Nikon was the naming rights sponsor for 2008, but the contract going forward hasn't been finalised and could be affected by the loss of the US element.

More details will undoubtedly follow....


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power - Team Australia/KV Technologies [Pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motorsport   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
Carl Skerlong - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
Carl Skerlong - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
Carl Skerlong - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: IRL/Garrett]
Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
David Martinez - Pacific Coast Motorsport
Alex Figge - Pacific Coast Motorsports
David Martinez - Pacific Coast Motorsport
Alex Figge (Pacific Coast) followed by Oriol Servia (PKV)
David Martinez - Pacific Coast Motorsport
Alex Figge - Pacific Coast Motorsports
Alex Figge - Pacific Coast Motorsports
David Martinez - Pacific Coast Motorsport
Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: PCM]
Mario Dominguez - Pacific Coast Motorsports   [pic credit: PCM]
Alex Figge - Pacific Coast Motorsports

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


OZF1Fan - Unregistered

November 11, 2008 5:03 PM

Hey DoubleMC, you have a bit of a misunderstanding there. The IRL did never race at Surfers'. The series that raced a couple of weeks ago is now called "Indy Car", because the IRL name is not used anymore. Actually, it was the now defunct CART series (then named IndyCar, hence the name of the event: Indy Lexmak) that started appearing on aussie soil back in 1991. After the split (1995) the series had to adopt the CART name, because of the legal dispute with the IRL for the rights to the IndyCar brand-name. Latter, when CART was bankrupted and auctioned, the new owners used the ChampCar World Series name, until it's official death, absorbed by the(guess!) IndyCar series back in March.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.