Line-up set for Gold Coast 600, includes Villeneuve

List of international stars set for Armor All Gold Coast 600 confirmed.
The Armor all Gold Coast 600 was launch as part of the V8 Supercar Gold Coast Carnival at South Port
The Armor all Gold Coast 600 was launch as part of the V8 Supercar Gold…
© Dirk Klynsmith

The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will feature one of the greatest and most varied line-ups of driver talent in Australian motorsport history on the streets of Surfers Paradise from October 22-24.

In a unique concept developed specifically for the Gold Coast V8 Supercar event, 18 of the world's greatest drivers will team up with local home-grown talent for two 300km races on the world's most spectacular street course.

The list is a who's who of world motorsport including former F1, CART and Indy 500 champion, Jacques Villeneuve. The Canadian was to be on the Gold Coast for the lavish launch, but was stranded in Europe because of the volcanic ash turning that part of the world into a virtual no-fly zone.

The list also includes current international Australian aces David Brabham, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power, Kiwi Scott Dixon, Scottish ace and former Gold Coast Champ Car race winner Dario Franchitti, North America's most successful road course racer and 1997 Gold Coast winner, Scott Pruett, four-time Champ Car and two-time Gold Coast winner Sebastien Bourdais, former European F1 drivers and current touring car and sportscar guns Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Tiago Monteiro, Mika Salo, Andy Priaulx, Gianni Morbidelli, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller.

The final list of drivers was announced at a spectacular event on the Gold Coast on Thursday night by State Premier, Anna Bligh and V8 Supercars chairman, Tony Cochrane.

Also announced on the night was a massive three-day music extravaganza featuring some of the world's biggest acts, a four-year naming rights sponsorship with Armor All, a new ticketing pricing structure which will see tickets drop by an average of 20 per cent and a new family-friendly focus on the event.

"When we first announced the concept for the Gold Coast race a few people were a little sceptical, but I think the list we have announced today proves just how special this event is going to be," said Cochrane.

"This is one of the greatest line-ups of talent we have seen in world motorsport and to have the calibre of these international drivers mixed with our own V8 Supercar stars on the streets of Surfers Paradise is going to be something special.

"When we mix the racing action with the 16 fantastic music acts we have secured for our unique Rock and Race format, we will have something special on the streets of Surfers Paradise in October."

Mark Blundell was originally announced as part of the initial line-up a couple of months ago, but increasing commitments with his business 2mb Sports Management has meant his withdrawal.

The international drivers are set to arrive on the Gold Coast on the Sunday before the event and will be involved in a week of activity, including a full-day test at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday, October 20.

The event will include two 300km races on Saturday and Sunday of the event, with the international drivers required to complete a minimum of 30% of each of the races.

Each two-car team must run at least one international driver.

The full list of 18 international drivers and the teams they will pair with is as follows:

- Sebastien Bourdais - France - Dick Johnson Racing
- David Brabham - Australia - Stone Brothers Racing
- Ryan Briscoe - Australia - Toll Holden Racing Team
- Scott Dixon - NZ - Jack Daniel's Racing
- Dario Franchitti - Scotland - Jim Beam Racing
- Heinz-Harald Frentzen - Germany - Wilson Security Racing
- Fabrizio Giovanardi - Italy - Brad Jones Racing
- Patrick Long - USA - Fujitsu Racing
- Alain Menu - Switzerland -Brad Jones Racing
- Tiago Monteiro - Portugal - Centaur Racing
- Gianni Morbidelli - Italy - Triple F Racing
- Yvan Muller - France - Paul Morris Motorsport
- Will Power - Australia - Ford Performance Racing
- Andy Priaulx - UK - TeamVodafone
- Scott Pruett - USA - Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport
- Mika Salo - Finland - Bundaberg Red Racing Team
- Alex Tagliani - Canada - Kelly Racing
- Jacques Villeneuve - Canada - The Bottle-O Racing Team

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